Longford favour switch to Connacht championship

Updated: December 15, 2011

Longford County Board chairman Pat Cahill has said he believes that the county would benefit from playing in the Connacht football championship on an experimental basis.

He was speaking in the wake of comments made by GAA president Christy Cooney, supported by Dublin CEO John Costello, that consideration should be given to realigning the four provinces into four groups of eight. The proposed new format would include three Leinster and one Ulster county switching to Connacht and Munster on a 2:2 basis.

As Longford is the most westerly county in Leinster, a move to Connacht would make perfect sense for the GAA teams.

“I’m speaking personally here, but I wouldn’t be averse to change, if only as an experiment,” said Cahill.

“We’re neighbours with Roscommon and would see ourselves as being on a par with them, but look at how many Connacht finals they have won since Longford won our only Leinster one in 1968.

“And look at how many Connacht finals they have been in. The same goes for Sligo and Leitrim.”

Cahill said the current system didn’t help the weaker counties in larger provinces as they were invariably in action first in the championship and, if they lost, had a long wait for the qualifiers.

“If the four provinces had the same number of counties, everyone would be in the same boat in terms of when they started. It’s something I think should be closely examined,” he said.

Cahill went on to say he believed that if Longford were in the Connacht championship, they would have an excellent chance of contesting (and possibly winning) the final at least once every 10 years. They haven’t appeared in the Leinster final for 43 years.

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