The last time we were rostered to play a championship match at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick there was near meltdown amongst the faithful. But that was an All-Ireland semi-final replay and in 2014 we felt, quite rightly, that it should have been played at HQ and not at a location that was a mere hop and skip away from Kerry.
Getting on for three years later, it looks like we’re on our way back to a venue that holds precious few good memories for us. This time it’s to play Cork in our All-Ireland Round 4A qualifier on Saturday week (22nd July).
The GAA’s CCCC hasn’t yet officially confirmed that the game will go ahead at the Gaelic Grounds but the Mayo News have already broken the story. I’m hearing that this is definitely kosher, though we’ll have to wait until the announcement is made officially to find out the throw-in time for the game.
— Mayo News – Sport (@mayonewssport) July 10, 2017
UPDATE: The GAA have now confirmed the match for Limerick (here) but no word yet on a throw-in time for it.
FURTHER UPDATE: Mayo GAA have confirmed the game for 5pm and also that it’ll be televised live by Sky.
— Mayo GAA (@MayoGAA) July 10, 2017
We’d have preferred a return to Ennis, for sure, but I doubt too many are willing to go to war over this match being fixed for Limerick. While the venue is far nearer to Cork than it is to Mayo, we’ll still outnumber vastly the meagre support the Rebels are likely to muster for this contest.
At least this decision means that the GAA sensibly chose to back away from a possible incendiary decision to fix the match for Páirc Uí Chaoimh. I’m not sure, to be honest, how seriously this option was ever considered but I guess the fact that it was mooted at all meant that it was a possibility. An utterly insane one but a possibility all the same.
So Limerick it is. Providing the lads build on the dominant second half performance put in at Cusack Park the last day (and assuming that Cormac Reilly isn’t put in charge) there’s every chance that we’ll get to create some nice new memories of the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday week, thus pushing those ghastly recollections of 2014 further into the background. Another reason, then, for me to regret that it’s a match I’m not going to be able to get to, given the alternative plans already in the diary for me for then.