Tom Hunt, Westmeath GAA Central Council Delegate.

Vote on fixture change lost

Westmeath GAA Central Council Delegate Tom Hunt reported that a motion to change the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-finals from Saturday to Sunday narrowly failed at a special convening of the GAA's leading body.

At the remote gathering of Ard Chomhairle, delegates were asked to vote on a proposal to move the Tailteann Cup semi-finals – Down v Sligo and Antrim v Laois – from their original Sunday date to Saturday.

The proposal fell just short of the required 60% support. Tom Hunt said he supported the proposal to change, but was not lobbied by any of the counties. Interestingly, one of the counties who initially proposed the change voted against it at the on-line meeting.

“It’s called mature reflection,” quipped Frank Mescall, Westmeath GAA chairman.

Sligo manager Tony McEntee criticised the 11th-hour proposal to flip football and hurling matches.

McEntee believed the decision to convene the special Central Council meeting showed disrespect to the Tailteann Cup.

GAA president Jarlath Burns had been asked by hurling counties in Leinster and Munster fixtures roadshow meetings last week to consider switching the football and hurling games. Wexford were hosting Féile na nGael on the Saturday.

Westmeath Head of Operations Patrick Doherty felt, under rule, the fixtures were a matter for the Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) and wondered why the GAA President had put the motion to Central Council.

Mr Hunt said the President felt the body with supreme authority between congresses, Central Council, should make the decision and not the CCCC.

“I would have thought the rule book says it’s the CCCC’s responsibility; that would be a view only,” remarked Mr Doherty.

Mr Hunt explained the president’s decision wasn’t challenged and the issue went to a vote.

The matter was discussed at the Westmeath GAA County Committee on July 4.