LIMERICK GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan has called for the installation of Hawk-Eye in the Gaelic Grounds.
In his report to Sunday’s Annual Convention, the County Board secretary expresses his fear that the Limerick GAA headquarters could be overlooked for important games if Hawk-Eye is introduced into Semple Stadium in Thurles and not the Gaelic Grounds.
“I would be concerned with the proposed installation of the Hawk-Eye system in Thurles and the redevelopment stadia of Pairc Uí Chaoimh and Casement Park and I have formally requested that the Ennis Rd venue would be included with venture,” outlined O’Riordan.
“The main highlights of year for the Gaelic Grounds was the National Hurling League semi-finals held last April and the hosting of the All Ireland senior football semi-final replay at the end of August. Both events proved the venue is well capable of hosting major events despite the negativity in particular surrounding the later.”
“The costs of maintaining the stadium are very excessive every year with rates, water and utilities hitting over €100,000 per annum along with VAT at 23% having to be paid on all income. The County Board have to subsidise the venue annually. Things have improved in recent times with the advent of advertising both internally and externally,” outlined the secretary of the Gaelic Grounds.
“We are hoping that we will be in a position to host a Concert next season. The County Board Office at the Gaelic Grounds has temporarily moved to the new Aras an Mumhan Building on the Dublin Rd. It is hoped when in the future the Mackey Stand gets redeveloped the Office will move back.”
Of Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale, O’Riordan said: “there has not been much development work at Mick Neville Park this year but I would hope during the course of 2015 the development of the stand will commence”.
In his thorough report, the secretary describes 2014 as “an exceptional year for Limerick GAA”.
But he has raised a number of concerns.
He outlines that over 770 games were presided over by Limerick’s Competition Controls Committee.
Praising the new format in the Senior, Premier Intermediate and Intermediate Hurling Championships, he said “the most successful championship this season was the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship”.
“The most disappointing Championship was the Premier minor hurling championship and the lack of championship games played. The CCCC have to take full responsibility in the delay in finishing this championship and I would always like to see all games played on the pitch and not in the boardroom. I would propose that the County Premier minor hurling championship would revert back to an eight team championship with seven rounds.”
The secretary added: “We also have to refrain from agreeing to postponing fixtures at a drop of a hat and I feel this is leading to much confusion and frustrating in the local media and is leading to reduced gates. The number of walkovers and postponements increased again this year and I feel the only way of reducing this problem is to reintroduce fees and penalties”.