The dispute over the venue for the Munster Senior Football Championship semi-final has moved a step closer to resolution on Friday morning.
s the Cork senior footballers have been demanding, the Kerry County Board have agreed to set aside the home and away arrangement with Cork for one year in order to facilitate the game going ahead in Páirc Uí Rinn.
The long-standing home and away arrangement in place between the counties applies only to the Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Fitzgerald Stadium venues.
Kerry, by acceding to Cork’s request for a one year abrogation of the agreement, as revealed in a statement by the Board, have made the first major move towards unlocking the dispute that has rumbled on since the Ed Sheeran concert and venue move for the football clash between the old-rivals was first announced.
The decision by the Kerry GAA executive was taken “following consultation with the Senior Football Team Management”, who were clearly keen for the game to go ahead, regardless of venue, as without it their preparations for the rest of the championship would be impacted.
Kerry’s move is subject to approval by the Munster Council, but with both Cork and Kerry aligned on the issue, one would have to imagine that will be relatively pro forma at this stage – it would need a six to four majority on the Council for approval to be given.
The Kerry statement indicated that the regular home and away arrangement would resume in 2023, with any potential clash between the counties to be fixed for Fitzgerald Stadium.
It also also stated that Cork’s ‘home’ venue in the future “would be confined to Páirc Uí Chaoimh” thereafter.
Kerry statement in full
“The Executive of the Kerry County Board, following consultation with the Senior Football Team Management and subject to the approval of the Munster Council, has decided to accede to a request from Cork County Board to set aside for one year only (2022) the Home & Away agreement between the Counties in order that Páirc Uí Rinn may substitute for Páirc Uí Chaoimh as Cork’s ‘Home’ venue for this year’s Munster Senior Football Championship game.
“The present Agreement would recommence in 2023 with a return to Fitzgerald Stadium and on the understanding Cork’s ‘Home’ venue would be confined to Páirc Uí Chaoimh thereafter.
“Kerry County Board acknowledges the close relationship that exists between both Boards, the importance of protecting the integrity of the Munster Senior Football Championship and the priority now for the Team Management and Players to prepare for the game without further distraction.
“It is now a matter for the Competitions Control Committee of the Munster Council to confirm the venue for this game and Kerry County Board will not be making any further comment on this matter until such time as that process is completed.”