Plan to reduce number of senior football teams comes under fire

Galway County Board Chairman Pat Kearney who said the Football Commitee will review the number of senior clubs in the county.

A number of Galway delegates expressed their disgruntlement at Monday evening’s annual GAA Convention over the move to reduce the amount of teams competing in the local senior football championship from 20 to, possibly, 16 in the coming years.

In recent months, Galway officials have been advocating a proposal to decrease the number of senior teams from 20 to 18 by 2019, but this has been met by stiff opposition by delegates, some of whom again voiced their disapproval at the county convention.

Among them was Caltra delegate Aidan Murray. “As you are aware, my club is not in favour of it,” stated Murray. “We put forward a proposal to replicate the structures and format currently in place by the Hurling Board (24 teams, Senior ‘A’ and Senior ‘B’).

“This format is clearly successful as evident by the success at inter-county level this year but, more importantly, by the number of different clubs crowned as county hurling champions over the past decade.

“This is not about self-preservation for Caltra. Far from it. The remit of the exercise was to improve Galway football in the long term and, while some may disagree with me, the clubs have not given this due consideration and the debate it deserves to make an informed decision and I think this is reflected that only half the clubs were present at the final meeting when this change was being proposed.”

He alluded to the change in Galway league structures some years ago, which, under a Croke Park directive, ended the correlation between a club’s league and championship status.

While he acknowledged there was no point “lamenting” the consequences of those changes now, as those were here to stay, he said the future of the Galway senior football championship was still in their own hands.

“I think this time we have full control over the way we want to restructure,” he continued, “but we have to make absolutely certain that a full impact analysis is being completed before we proceed. As of now, I think not all parties have been properly informed of this.


Full coverage of convention in this week’s Connacht Tribune