As talk of Galway leaving for Munster is raised, Anthony Cunningham has his say

The county's place in the Leinster hurling championship could come to an end

As talk of Galway leaving for Munster is raised, Anthony Cunningham has his say

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

In Thursday's Irish Examiner, the possibility of Galway leaving the Leinster hurling championship and heading for Munster was raised.

Galway hurling PRO Jarlath Cloonan remarked about the county's status within Leinster if home games remain an impossibility.

"The whole thing has gone pear-shaped. Either we’re fully integrated into Leinster or we’re out. All-in or all-out," he was quoted as saying.

"We need championship games in the city of Galway. Either we get that and our underage teams into Leinster or we then look at Munster or go back to the situation years ago when we were treated the same as Leinster and Munster champions and go straight into an All-Ireland semi-final. Returning to playing losing teams in qualifiers is not the answer.

"Munster could work. Clare, Limerick and Tipp are within striking distance of Galway and providing there were home and away agreements and we were accepted fully then it could work."

Former Galway manager Anthony Cunningham feels the county has been a good addition for the Leinster championship since they joined in 2009.

"I suppose the introductory period is gone and Galway are rightfully asking and demanding that they should get home matches. And I think every county, if they get the luck of the draw, get a home match and I think Leinster with Galway in there should be no different," he said. 

"I think they've served their time and been in three or four Leinster finals, have won a Leinster final in 2012, have been very good for the game in Leinster and have made it competitive.

"We're all in the game as coaches and developers, that we want the game to always improve and no-one wants to stand still and this - Galway getting home matches, Galway getting the introduction of minor and under-21 as well - for sure will help the development of the game."

He also feels the GAA hierarchy should take a look at the issue.

"I would call on the executive committee and the management committee of the GAA to really take this out into a separate discussion and make a ruling on it," he said.

And on the possibility of Galway moving to Munster championship for the first time since the 1960s, Cunningham feels that would create a "fascinating" provincial scene there. But he did add, "there would be a danger would the Munster championship overshadow maybe the All-Ireland series".