Wee won’t give Louth advantage
LEINSTER Council chairman Jim Bolger has shot down any prospect of Louth hosting Dublin in next year’s Championship.
However, Wexford would be in line to stage the opening game of Dublin’s five-in-a-row bid if they win the Leinster SFC first round pairing between themselves and Louth.
Wexford Park is one of four grounds in Leinster, along with Bord Na Mona O’connor Park, O’moore Park and Nowlan Park, that is deemed capable of hosting a Championship game involving Dublin if, as expected, the provincial body opts to stage the champions’ opener outside of Croke Park for the fourth year running.
Bolger said it’s “highly likely” that will happen but said there’s no prospect of the Gaelic Grounds in Drogheda, probably the poorest county ground in the country, playing host to a possible Louth-dublin tie.
The Leinster Council was criticised this year for placing the Wicklowdublin game in Portlaoise instead of the minnows’ home in Aughrim.
“We’ve decided that already as a council and everybody is fully in the picture in that regard and they were last year as well,” said Bolger in relation to the four venues. “We’ll decide that now in about four weeks’ time at our next council meeting.
“We’ll look at all angles and if there’s a need for a double header or whatever the case may be.”
An inability to host Dublin next year may give Louth extra impetus with plans for a 12,000 capacity ground at DKIT, which were recently unveiled.
Bolger continued: “Drogheda was on the cards for a long time. Earlier in the year they decided that it wasn’t going to be a viable option for them.
“In fairness to Louth, they’re after coming back very quickly with a proposal for Dundalk and that’s in its infancy now but it’s a positive step for them as well so hopefully that will work out for Louth long-term.”
Meanwhile, despite attendances in the Leinster SFC dwindling given Dublin’s dominance, Bolger said there was no call for moving Leinster semifinals away from Jones’ Road.
“It’s a great venue.. players will always jump at the opportunity to run out in Croke Park,” he added.
FIT FOR DUBS Innovate Wexford Park
DRAW Jim Bolger with John Maughan