“It’s hard to know” – the managerial merry-go-round keeps spinning

By Patrick Sharkey,

Episode 54: David Dempsey The GAA Zone podcast

On episode 54 of the GAA Zone podcast, the GAA Zone editor Patrick Sharkey spoke to the Offaly and Bally Common senior footballer David Dempsey. — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/message
  1. Episode 54: David Dempsey
  2. Episode 53: Managerial Merry Go Round
  3. Episode 52: Antrim hurling 2022
  4. Episode 51: Andy McEntee
  5. Episode 50: The future of GAA Media!

The dust has firmly settled on the 2022 All-Ireland races, with club championships now in full swing.

In the controversy over a proposed GAA pitch at Victoria Park in Belfast, some people seem to have assumed that the GAA is just another sporting organisation. It means a lot more to the cult.

A GAA-mad Sligo teenager is visiting every county ground in Ireland this week to fundraise for Temple Street Children’s Hospital. He could have seen Ephie Fitzgerald when he landed in Waterford as Aaron Maher Predergast from GAA Fan TV spoke on episode 53 of the GAA zone podcast talking about him.

Clara GAA Club has not reached an agreement to sell their old ground at Pairc Brid on the Ballycumber road. However, Waterford seemed to have agreed to keep Fitzgerald in place with Mr. Maher keeping the faith.

A Cork GAA club has hosted a Cúl Camp course for some 40 Ukrainian children staying in the area.

A Co. Limerick GAA pitch narrowly escaped an inferno after a stack of hay bales caught fire in the vicinity during last weekend’s heatwave. Waterford footballers could also catch fire in 2023.

The horrible last few weeks that have been for the Tipperary GAA family have been a stark one for many around the county, but one thing that has shone brightly from the passing of Dillon Quirke is the community values we are lucky to have in our organisation. Over the border in Waterford, community spirit is fully behind the footballers with Mr. Prendergast saying: “Yeah, I think the right decision is just to keep him I think personally because I think Shane Roynane obviously was the manager there last year and they had another manager the season before that as well so there has been a lot of instability there so probably do need just a bit of stability manager keep the same ideas. It’s hard to know really what the goal or the objective is but I suppose it is better to keep the same manager because it does probably increase the likelihood of improvement and results. Like even look at London like who kept Michael Maher throughout the Covid break and everything else”.

Most of the side is made from Connacht. That is in terms of the style of play for Limerick and Maher Prendergast said: “Yeah it will be tough for them obviously in division two, but I do think they should keep him to be fair though like I think you know like when Billy Lee took over, they were in division four. So, he has taken them from division four all the way to division two and brought through a lot of young players in there as well also, so I think they’re in good hands. I think he’s done a really good job, like, I think probably the ambition maybe with Limerick football now, is maybe they’re looking at what Clare has done, and do you know like they obviously beat Clare on penalties and gave Clare a good run for their money. Clare has been very good at staying up in division two. So, you just don’t know, like, I’d still give Limerick a good chance at staying up, but it is going to be tough for them.”

All-Ireland champions Galway have six players on the Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Football Team.

Mayo, whom Galway beat in the final, has four members on the team.  Paddy Tally however isn’t rumored to be on any of the Mayo coaching tickets to bring these young lads through with Maher saying he could be looking elsewhere.

Rio Mortimer and Paul Gilmore of Claremorris have been named in defense while joint captains Diarmuid Duffy and Ronan Clarke are in attack. Prendergast has backed Tally to succeed elsewhere.

Inspired by the powerful midfield duo of Michael Gacquin and Senan Buckley who accounted for 0-24 between them, Clonguish Og produced a fine performance to defeat St Vincent’s.


“It was exciting” – Wexford hurlers reflect on a season like no other

By Patrick Sharkey,

Episode 54: David Dempsey The GAA Zone podcast

On episode 54 of the GAA Zone podcast, the GAA Zone editor Patrick Sharkey spoke to the Offaly and Bally Common senior footballer David Dempsey. — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/message
  1. Episode 54: David Dempsey
  2. Episode 53: Managerial Merry Go Round
  3. Episode 52: Antrim hurling 2022
  4. Episode 51: Andy McEntee
  5. Episode 50: The future of GAA Media!

GAA fans were left scratching their heads during the All-Ireland semi-final as a Shane Walsh point was inexplicably chalked off after the umpires consulted Hawkeye. With just minutes left in a very labored and low-scoring first half, Galway was 0-03 to 0-04 down and Shane Walsh had a free.

Galway are All-Ireland Minor champions for the first time in 15 years! Episode 46 of the GAA Zone podcast focused however on the first championship game for the senior hurlers who drew to Wexford and according to former Wexford hurler Richie Kehoe: “It was exciting alright but to be honest with you we didn’t hurl for 50 minutes of that game or even more. Galway was still looking all over the winners there being four points up after 66 minutes or something like that. Then it was all the excitement over Cooney taking the free and then the throw-in ball. I think Chinner gets a point from play and then he adds on another four frees. You know suddenly, we were looking like we were dead and buried. We ended up getting a draw and probably on the balance of play I say”.
Hawkeye will not be in use for the Dublin vs Kerry All-Ireland football semi-final after the GAA said the technology will be reviewed following an error. The last time a Dublin side wouldn’t have had use of Hawkeye in an important game would have been when the senior hurlers beat Wexford in the second round of the Leinster championship round-robin when Richie Kehoe said: “It was much the same. Wexford probably only hurled for 15 minutes in both of those games and like Dublin looked all over the winners again. I think they were six or seven points up after maybe 50 minutes. Donal Burke was absolutely on fire on placed balls and frees. Dublin was playing a short passing game as they be running through the middle at ease. They were finding their scores a little bit easier than ourselves.”

Galway saved their best for last as a magnificent display propelled them to the All-Ireland Under-17 football championship title at Dr. Hyde Park in Roscommon. The Wexford hurlers can relate to the Galway minor hurlers having had their biggest championship win in Laois with Mr. Kehoe saying: “Well it was needed. No disrespect to Laois but they were down several of their top players that day”. but it was a confidence builder for us. Plenty of lads got on the scoresheet. It was 6-21 to 0-12 points that day or something like that. Plenty of lads got game time. It was what we needed. You know it was what we needed to build the confidence a little bit to put in a performance which they did. Laois gave it all for maybe 20 minutes in that game and after that, we completely blew them out of the water”.

The All-Ireland senior football semi-final is part of a double-header of action, Kilkenny facing New York in the opening game in the All-Ireland junior decider. Kilkenny will be looking to cause an upset.
Watch Dublin vs Kerry in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final live on Sky Sports Arena from 3pm Sunday.
This is a separate Dublin side from the one that celebrated a sixth All-Ireland title in a row in 2020.

“Our objective was to get promoted” – Antrim footballers look to bounce back     

By Patrick Sharkey,

Episode 39: Declan Lynch The GAA Zone podcast

With some audio difficulties, the Antrim senior footballer Declan Lynch returned to the podcast. Tickets have gone on sale for next Saturday's Tailteann Cup clash between Leitrim and Antrim in Avant Money Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada with fans reminded that they must buy their tickets.   — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/message

Tickets have gone on sale for next Saturday’s Tailteann Cup clash between Leitrim and Antrim in Avant Money Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada with fans reminded that they must buy their tickets online.  

Between 2016 and 2021, Community Finance Ireland has supported five GAA clubs in Antrim.

Antrim senior footballer Michael McCann has criticised the GAA for their deeply flawed approach to the inaugural Tailteann Cup and says the Association missed a trick by not copying hurling’s Joe McDonagh Cup round-robin format. However, his teammate Declan Lynch was more focused on their division three league campaign on episode 29 of the GAA Zone podcast saying:” Collectively there was a lot of positives in it but also negatives because our objective was to get promoted. We were in it right until the very last day. At a time, it was in our own hands, but we produced a couple of poor performances. Poor periods within games eventually costs us and we missed out on promotion. It was an up and down campaign. There were positives but it was negative because we didn’t meet our objective”. With the guarantee of just one Championship game for the Tailteann Cup participants and no wild card entry back into the Sam Maguire race for the winners of the new competition, McCann believes the GAA is potentially harming the development of the lower-ranked teams in the country. However, despite the Tailteann Cup’s many flaws, McCann at no time considered walking away from Antrim after they crashed out of the Ulster Championship to Cavan.

It’s reasonable to say they have a decent pedigree. Mr. Lynch knew the Saffron tried their best during the league campaign saying: “We didn’t take our foot off the gas. We went into the Louth game in what was basically a winner takes all championship semi-final or final and we just didn’t perform right across the board and Louth did. Fair play to them, they went on and gained promotion. No, we were focused right up until the end of the league campaign. So, it wasn’t a case of us taking our foot off the gas”.

The Tailteann Cup first-round clash of Leitrim and Antrim will be streamed live on the GAAGO.

Commentary on sport, especially on the various kinds of football, has long been dependent on military metaphor. This was no different for Lynch who gave credit to his teammates saying: “There has been a lot of good and strong performances. I’m trying to look out across the board. Dermot McAleese and Mark Jordan have probably been the standout players for Antrim I think this year.”

Inclusivity is at the very heart of the GAA’s ethos. However once again the county with the biggest population in Ulster has failed to make a difference in the championship with Declan looking back on the Saffron exit to Cavan saying:” Listen, Cavan was a really poor showing. We were prepared well”.

At corner-forward for Cavan against Antrim that Saturday was Cormac O’Reilly, son of Breffni great Damien.

John Maughan was honest about his ignorance of the Tailteann Cup last week. With the potential of Antrim playing Cavan again this year and Antrim knowing a lot about Cavan from their defeat, the West Belfast man knows a thing or two about their players saying: “The full team and full squad impressed me. They were physically a very big team. They didn’t look like a division four team; they were conditioned very well but you have to say on the day the standout player for them was Paddy Lynch”.

At one point Antrim went top of Allianz League Division 3 with a comprehensive 1-19 to 0-12 victory.

“Limerick football is really on the up” – a Gaelic games weekend to remember

By Patrick Sharkey,

Episode 38: Weekend reaction and review The GAA Zone podcast

In episode 38 of the GAA Zone Podcast, the GAA Zone editor spoke to Matthew Hurley aka the GAA Statsman about the games that happened last weekend. — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/message

In one spectacular weekend, there were a lot of talking points from the GAA, LGFA, and camogie worlds.

Ruairi Canavan hits 1-7 as Tyrone claims a six-point victory over the Lilywhites in Carrick-on-Shannon.

So well done again to Paul Devlin and the Tyrone team. In episode 38 of the GAA Zone podcast Matthew Hurley (GAA Statsman) was full of praise for Tyrone saying: “I thought it was a superb game. From the off really two goals from Ruairi Canavan and Dan Lyman who did very well in the Sigurdsson cup as well. Honestly, going into the game I thought Kildare would win it. You look at their performances like against Dublin they were superb and against Sligo they put them away with ease. Compare that to Tyrone. It Donegal who went to extra time and then again against Cavan they kind of struggle”.

Limerick has booked a date against Kerry in the Munster Football Championship final as their dream season continues. Mr. Hurley was impressed by Limerick saying: “Look most people thought Tipperary would win this game getting out of the Tailteann cup. It was a way to get out. No Limerick proved once again they are a team to be reckoned with. They were kind of lucky against Clare in a way to get through on penalties, but they got through that anyway. Yeah, Limerick football is really on the up with players all through the field like Josh Ryan. I said this on GAA Fan TV, another podcast”.

Kildare is into the Leinster senior football final after surviving a late rally from Westmeath at Croke Park. Hurley didn’t mince his words about the game saying: “Look Kildare, it is a brilliant victory for them in a way like. I think Kevin Mc Stay was very critical of them on the Sunday Game last night. A bit uncalled for in my opinion. They did very well in division one and hammered Louth in the quarter-finals. Maybe they need to give a bit of credit to Westmeath? Most people in Croke Park would have counted Westmeath as real underdogs in trying to overcome Kildare but in fairness, they put up a real show. Ronan O’Toole played well, Jamie Gornoud very good from wing-back, and John Heslin.”

After going a decade in which, they won just one Ulster Championship game, Derry has now gone back-to-back.

Derry got another signature win as they took out Monaghan at The Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

Derry hadn’t won a single match in Ulster in six years prior to the Tyrone win.  It wasn’t a big shock.

The Derry resurgence continues.  It was no surprise to Matthew who said: “I did stats on the game.”

Dublin showed up and delivered. The GAA stats man said: “It was really one-way traffic, wasn’t it?”

Players from 15 of the 17 counties that are set to compete in the inaugural Tailteann Cup were present at Croke Park on Monday afternoon as further details of the competition’s promotional push were revealed. The journalism student sees it as an interesting set of ties saying: “The main one really is Offaly v Wexford.  That is a big tie there, considering Wexford beat them in the Leinster championship.  You must expect Offaly you know to write the wrongs of that game and try to win”.

Tyrone turn up the Music for the All Ireland football final!

By, Patrick Sharkey,

To close out season three of the GAA Zone Podcast, unless the All Ireland senior men’s football final goes to a replay, it will be finished by looking at all the best tunes produced by counties ahead of going to an All Ireland final. A special shoutout is given to the first song Chrissy Mac: “Back Home to Tyrone”. Country singer Chrissy Mac is delighted to release his latest single “Back Home To Tyrone”.

The song writers Jimmy and Brendan Hendry thought Chrissy Mac was the perfect man for the song.

Chrissy Mac was beginning to become a household name before the dreaded pandemic hit and has like every other musician has struggled over the past 18 months not being able to do what they love.

Chrissy is also the only country singer to have released a song this year to support the Tyrone footballers in the All Ireland final .Many a well-known amazing artists have recorded singles in the past and Chrissy is delighted to be following in their footsteps and hoping that this song will be played for years to come with a great result for Tyrone this Saturday. There has also been a song released in support of Mayo which you can listen to in the podcast.

3:03 – Back Home to Tyrone – Chrissy Mac (Tyrone)

7:40 -Jimmy’s winning matches – Rory and the Island (Donegal)

11:15 – Give us back Sam Maguire – GMC (Cork)

16:28 – Fight for Sam – David Howley (Mayo)

20:30 – Dancing at the Crossroads – The wild swans (Wexford)

25:28 – The banks of my own Lovely Lee-Sean O’Se (Cork)

30:05 – When I play for the county – The 2 Johnnies (Tipperary)

Episode 54: David Dempsey The GAA Zone podcast

On episode 54 of the GAA Zone podcast, the GAA Zone editor Patrick Sharkey spoke to the Offaly and Bally Common senior footballer David Dempsey. — Send in a voice message: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/gaazone/message
  1. Episode 54: David Dempsey
  2. Episode 53: Managerial Merry Go Round
  3. Episode 52: Antrim hurling 2022
  4. Episode 51: Andy McEntee
  5. Episode 50: The future of GAA Media!

Patrick Sharkey

Editor of GAA Zone