Daithi and the heartland

A forum to air your views on Offaly GAA matters and beyond.

Re: Leinster club championships 2017

Postby LooseCannon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:09 pm

greenairfield wrote:BNM I ment majority as in delegates...take away the top table vote and Birr I am sure as hell would of won the vote.

Kevin I am totally suprised at your opinion...its not about attendances it's about promoting offaly hurling all across the county.

And I 100% don't like the way you say it's us v them because I know the approach Birr made and they were very conscious of the fact it's not an us v them issue...it's an offaly hurling issue.

If you cant or anybody else for that matter not see that some games need to come back this side of the county to benefit offaly hurling ye lads really don't know anything about hurling.

Now on to the facilities we are aware tullamore have better dressing rooms but Birr are still upgrading there facilties and come semi final time this will be solved ...but the whole warm up area stroke is a bit silly for me plenty of grounds around the country don't have "warm up areas" and there is a pitch just across the road which works just fine if you need one anyway.

The attendance is fine 7,200 is plenty to host matches, yet again u take the side of the CB...They must be paying you at this rate.


Firstly, I think that some important matches should be played in Birr, some not all.
If we want to improve Offaly Hurling, realistically most major matches should be in Tullamore. If we want to get Hurling into north/east Offaly, then make games accessible to them by having matches in a reasonably central venue. It’s a bonus that OCP is as good as it is, but the matches should be played in a reasonably central location regardless.
Not an anti-Birr thing.

I saw a number of young lads at the KK match wearing Vincent’s tops. Also saw Declan Kelly with his young lads wearing Vincent's tops. Now is the time. Get another GDA for North/East Offaly Hurling exclusively.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby greenairfield » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:34 pm

Common sense is not very common when it comes to the CB.
I cannot stress enough this is not North V South...its about promoting and developing hurling all across the County....by bringing SOME games to Birr it does that...people need to open there eyes and realise where Offaly hurling is, this is only one factor of many why Offal hurling is falling down the ladder
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Re: Leinster club championships 2017

Postby Lone Shark » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:40 pm

greenairfield wrote:BNM I ment majority as in delegates...take away the top table vote and Birr I am sure as hell would of won the vote.


It would be a strange form of democracy where the most active volunteers in the county don't get a vote on matters like this. I'm happy to accept the vote was close, but equally, the vote was lost - it's as simple as that.

greenairfield wrote:Kevin I am totally surprised at your opinion...its not about attendances it's about promoting offaly hurling all across the county.


There's a couple of aspects to this - firstly, I don't buy into this fundamental premise that 3,000 people attending a game in SBP is somehow better promotion for Offaly hurling than 3,000 people attending a game in OCP. Secondly, I've often argued for spreading the games around more - but that's not the same as spreading all the headline occasions around. I've long argued that club grounds should get more home games, and to be honest I'd love to see a situation next year in the Senior A/Senior B/Inter championships that every team gets at least two home games.

However I'd be far more concerned about the lack of games in Lusmagh, Clareen, Ballyskenach and Coolderry than I would about the lack of games in Birr.

greenairfield wrote:And I 100% don't like the way you say it's us v them because I know the approach Birr made and they were very conscious of the fact it's not an us v them issue...it's an offaly hurling issue.

If you cant or anybody else for that matter not see that some games need to come back this side of the county to benefit offaly hurling ye lads really don't know anything about hurling.


This was the point of my post - by calling a motion and thus by inviting a vote, Birr made it a divisive issue. The key here is to win people over with logic and diplomacy, not to make big speeches and to try and batter the other side into submission by bringing up the topic over and over. Subtlety and diplomacy will bring about change here, but it seems like grandstanding is preferred.

And as for divisiveness, the second line there sums up exactly what I'm talking about. I make a post saying that I think the time is right for the Offaly SHC semis to be played in SPB in 2018, with a view towards possibly hosting the county final there a year later, and all you give me in response is more of this nonsense about how only the traditional viewpoint is valid, and that anyone who can't see that just knows nothing about the sport. If you're relying on "ye just don't get it" as part of your argument, you're wasting your time.

Why is the idea of incremental progress, with research and consideration along the way, so anathema on this topic?

greenairfield wrote:Now on to the facilities we are aware tullamore have better dressing rooms but Birr are still upgrading there facilties and come semi final time this will be solved ...but the whole warm up area stroke is a bit silly for me plenty of grounds around the country don't have "warm up areas" and there is a pitch just across the road which works just fine if you need one anyway.

The attendance is fine 7,200 is plenty to host matches, yet again u take the side of the CB...They must be paying you at this rate.


This is one of those areas where Birr club needs to step up and show real clarity. In my capacity as a journalist I've asked, over and over, what the official capacity of SBP is right now. In the last three months along, I've been told (1) 10,000 - by Michael Verney on the We are Offaly podcast (2) 6,000, with the option to add another 600 if an additional turnstile is opened at the Tesco end - by another member of the club executive, and now (3) 7,200, by yourself. However all of these are unofficial. I've asked the club over and over to submit an official answer to this, and I never get an answer. Can you at least see why this makes it difficult to trust the answers given?

Similarly, the general rule with most Gardaí superintendents is that if the expected attendance is at two thirds of a ground's capacity or more, then they demand that it be made all ticket - which hurts the crowd in a big way. There are plenty of studies to back that up. Again, the unofficial answer I get from Birr on this is that the local superintendent would be amenable and would look the other way on this, but again, there is no official answer.

Likewise, if there are plans to renovate the dressing rooms and to put in four dressing rooms that are big enough for modern teams, then why has that not been made public?

I'm trying to stand in the middle ground here and to explain the different ways that Birr can make their case stronger, and all I get in return is a lot of vague "it'll be grand on the day" which doesn't provide any verifiable facts or details.
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Re: Leinster club championships 2017

Postby LooseCannon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:47 pm

Lone Shark wrote:
greenairfield wrote:BNM I ment majority as in delegates...take away the top table vote and Birr I am sure as hell would of won the vote.


It would be a strange form of democracy where the most active volunteers in the county don't get a vote on matters like this. I'm happy to accept the vote was close, but equally, the vote was lost - it's as simple as that.

greenairfield wrote:Kevin I am totally surprised at your opinion...its not about attendances it's about promoting offaly hurling all across the county.


There's a couple of aspects to this - firstly, I don't buy into this fundamental premise that 3,000 people attending a game in SBP is somehow better promotion for Offaly hurling than 3,000 people attending a game in OCP. Secondly, I've often argued for spreading the games around more - but that's not the same as spreading all the headline occasions around. I've long argued that club grounds should get more home games, and to be honest I'd love to see a situation next year in the Senior A/Senior B/Inter championships that every team gets at least two home games.

However I'd be far more concerned about the lack of games in Lusmagh, Clareen, Ballyskenach and Coolderry than I would about the lack of games in Birr.

greenairfield wrote:And I 100% don't like the way you say it's us v them because I know the approach Birr made and they were very conscious of the fact it's not an us v them issue...it's an offaly hurling issue.

If you cant or anybody else for that matter not see that some games need to come back this side of the county to benefit offaly hurling ye lads really don't know anything about hurling.


This was the point of my post - by calling a motion and thus by inviting a vote, Birr made it a divisive issue. The key here is to win people over with logic and diplomacy, not to make big speeches and to try and batter the other side into submission by bringing up the topic over and over. Subtlety and diplomacy will bring about change here, but it seems like grandstanding is preferred.

And as for divisiveness, the second line there sums up exactly what I'm talking about. I make a post saying that I think the time is right for the Offaly SHC semis to be played in SPB in 2018, with a view towards possibly hosting the county final there a year later, and all you give me in response is more of this nonsense about how only the traditional viewpoint is valid, and that anyone who can't see that just knows nothing about the sport. If you're relying on "ye just don't get it" as part of your argument, you're wasting your time.

Why is the idea of incremental progress, with research and consideration along the way, so anathema on this topic?

greenairfield wrote:Now on to the facilities we are aware tullamore have better dressing rooms but Birr are still upgrading there facilties and come semi final time this will be solved ...but the whole warm up area stroke is a bit silly for me plenty of grounds around the country don't have "warm up areas" and there is a pitch just across the road which works just fine if you need one anyway.

The attendance is fine 7,200 is plenty to host matches, yet again u take the side of the CB...They must be paying you at this rate.


This is one of those areas where Birr club needs to step up and show real clarity. In my capacity as a journalist I've asked, over and over, what the official capacity of SBP is right now. In the last three months along, I've been told (1) 10,000 - by Michael Verney on the We are Offaly podcast (2) 6,000, with the option to add another 600 if an additional turnstile is opened at the Tesco end - by another member of the club executive, and now (3) 7,200, by yourself. However all of these are unofficial. I've asked the club over and over to submit an official answer to this, and I never get an answer. Can you at least see why this makes it difficult to trust the answers given?

Similarly, the general rule with most Gardaí superintendents is that if the expected attendance is at two thirds of a ground's capacity or more, then they demand that it be made all ticket - which hurts the crowd in a big way. There are plenty of studies to back that up. Again, the unofficial answer I get from Birr on this is that the local superintendent would be amenable and would look the other way on this, but again, there is no official answer.

Likewise, if there are plans to renovate the dressing rooms and to put in four dressing rooms that are big enough for modern teams, then why has that not been made public?

I'm trying to stand in the middle ground here and to explain the different ways that Birr can make their case stronger, and all I get in return is a lot of vague "it'll be grand on the day" which doesn't provide any verifiable facts or details.



With regards capacity, I’ve come across two figures: 5,500 and 11,000. Weirdly, the former is half of the latter. Oh well
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby private joker » Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:46 pm

How can moving a venue to one end of the county help develop hurling in Offaly? What are people thinking. O Conor park is a perfect venue, birr is not. The cure to offalys woes are not where the senior team plays but how the development squads are ran. The coach education within clubs and clubs attending workshops ran within Offaly and outside to further develop coaching and playing.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby greenairfield » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:54 pm

It really is pretty simple....12 turnstiles including the new ones at tescos that were built... × 600(per hour) that is what is allowed in per health and safety makes 7200 ...that's a fact.
It could hold 10,000 + as Michael Verney might have refered but what is the need to build more turnstiles at the moment when crowds like that are not attending games.
Do you ask tommy byrne all the ins and out about attendances in OCP and where money is been spend in Offaly or do you just take his word ?
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby greenairfield » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:01 pm

Just reading over your comment again and you really do have foot firmly with the CB Kevin.....have you forgotten the Birr club is a club run on its own and monies for all these projects has to be raised unlike OCP who got massive funding and is in debt might add....but no that's not never said.

We are offaly me hole....you only see things your way.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby LooseCannon » Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:16 pm

greenairfield wrote:Just reading over your comment again and you really do have foot firmly with the CB Kevin.....have you forgotten the Birr club is a club run on its own and monies for all these projects has to be raised unlike OCP who got massive funding and is in debt might add....but no that's not never said.

We are offaly me hole....you only see things your way.


Can we calm down.
I mightn’t agree with everything Kevin (LS) says, but fair dues to him. Doing a podcast in his own time. No monetary reward. If you have an issue with things he says or writes, PM him. I’m sure he’d happily elaborate if needs be.

Edit:We are Offaly is a tremendous idea. Feck the begrudgers.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby Lone Shark » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:36 am

greenairfield wrote:It really is pretty simple....12 turnstiles including the new ones at tescos that were built... × 600(per hour) that is what is allowed in per health and safety makes 7200 ...that's a fact.
It could hold 10,000 + as Michael Verney might have refered but what is the need to build more turnstiles at the moment when crowds like that are not attending games.
Do you ask tommy byrne all the ins and out about attendances in OCP and where money is been spend in Offaly or do you just take his word ?


I was told that ten turnstiles were open, and that two more could have been opened with some work, if needed. To be clear, I'm not doubting you, I'm merely saying that if that number of 7,200 is what is allowed, why am I finding it so difficult to get an official answer from the Birr club to that effect? Birr club are putting forward motions asking for county finals, while some very crucial questions that need answering first are being ignored. I was also told that there were issues with regard to getting crowds out of the ground quick enough, because so many of the exits were leading directly onto the N62, and that the footpath there was so narrow - however I'm open to correction on that. Has this been addressed?

I don't ask Tommy Byrne about the attendances at O'Connor Park, because they are announced and recorded - just the same as the attendances at Birr are. I'm happy to take at face value the attendances at the quarter final double headers this year for example, which showed a 10% higher number at SBP - that would be enough for me to justify moving the semi-finals there in 2018. I don't question the information coming from Birr or Tullamore - only the lack thereof in other matters.

And when it comes to where the money is spent in Offaly, I tend to trust the financial statements. They've been audited so I'm certainly not going to disagree with them.

greenairfield wrote:Just reading over your comment again and you really do have foot firmly with the CB Kevin.....have you forgotten the Birr club is a club run on its own and monies for all these projects has to be raised unlike OCP who got massive funding and is in debt might add....but no that's not never said.


That's regularly said. It's right there in the accounts, it gets mentioned very frequently at county board meetings, at club committee meetings, in the newspapers, and every GAA member in Offaly I'd say is very aware that there is still a significant debt on O'Connor Park, even after the recent refinancing. However the county needed a proper county ground, and I would completely support the decision to do it right, and to do something that is future-proofed and won't need further upgrading in a decade. Leaving the ground as it was simply wasn't an option.

I have the utmost respect for the Birr club for what they've done with SBP, and there can be no doubting the massive improvements that have been made in the last few years. However they are doing that for themselves, Offaly GAA doesn't NEED a second ground that can safely hold 5,000 people, the GAA doesn't need it, so why would there be huge grant money to support it? The Birr committee have decided that they want to take on this project and drive it to a much higher level again, and that is their prerogative - but it doesn't confer any obligations on the county board in terms of fixtures.

And before you mention it, I'm well aware that there are lots of GAA projects that are unnecessary and that still get grant aid - none more than Páirc Uí Chaoimh, a testament to Cork's inflated sense of self-worth and a complete white elephant from a GAA point of view. If you were to ask where in Ireland was another 40,000 seater stadium needed, you'd never have said anywhere in Munster. However that doesn't mean that Birr should get grant aided too.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby greenairfield » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:04 am

I am just making the point a lot of the work is done voluntary so you shouldn't be so quick to pick holes on warm area and dressing room size.

Birr have stated as I have they don't want to compare to OCP because it's a non contest.

Yet again I will say it's not about attendance but ye keep going back to it, it's about getting more game back down to the Birr area.


Since games have moved to tullamore this has affected hurling in the south. That is a fact.

And yes I suppose I may say it before you do of course there is plenty of other issues why hurling standards have dropped in the south.

Offaly hurling is in need of big changes one of them should be getting matches back to Birr not all them an equal share.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby Lone Shark » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:33 am

greenairfield wrote:I am just making the point a lot of the work is done voluntary so you shouldn't be so quick to pick holes on warm area and dressing room size.

Birr have stated as I have they don't want to compare to OCP because it's a non contest.


Given the complete bags they've just made of the Leinster championship, it's entirely likely that the Offaly SHC final will be the most well-attended hurling game held in the county in 2018 - and it'll be the most well-attended game full stop, unless Offaly beat Wicklow and subsequently get to host Dublin in the Leinster SFC. So you can't on the one hand say that you don't want to be compared to OCP, and that you don't want anyone pointing out issues with the ground, while at the same time asking for the sweetest plum on the calendar to be sent your way. You must be able to see that, surely?

You say you want Birr to have "an equal share" of the games - yet you don't want the ground to be judged by the same standards.

greenairfield wrote:Yet again I will say it's not about attendance but ye keep going back to it, it's about getting more game back down to the Birr area.
Since games have moved to tullamore this has affected hurling in the south. That is a fact. And yes I suppose I may say it before you do of course there is plenty of other issues why hurling standards have dropped in the south. Offaly hurling is in need of big changes one of them should be getting matches back to Birr not all them an equal share.


The decline in Offaly hurling has been ongoing since the turn of the millenium, and the pace of that decline was no faster or slower when games were moved to Tullamore due to Birr's closure. Saying that moving games has affected hurling is like saying that the decision to open up Croke Park to other sports has led to an increase in handpassing in Gaelic football. Just because two things happen at the same time doesn't make them related.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby greenairfield » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:17 pm

I totally disagree and if you were from the Birr area you would feel the same...This isn't just a birr opinion it is a Clareen,Coolderry Kinnitty etc etc opinion too.

You have taking away it's identity and that special feeling of county final day and moved it to the far end of the countynew all them kids who would of went down and seen the special feeling of county final day don't see it anymore.

This would of never happened now it only because of personal who were on the Birr Committee years ago.

Birr is capable of holding a county final well capable(it did for 50 years ) and if you are anyone thinks otherwise your blind.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby Lone Shark » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:48 pm

greenairfield wrote:I totally disagree and if you were from the Birr area you would feel the same...This isn't just a birr opinion it is a Clareen,Coolderry Kinnitty etc etc opinion too.

You have taking away it's identity and that special feeling of county final day and moved it to the far end of the countynew all them kids who would of went down and seen the special feeling of county final day don't see it anymore.

This would of never happened now it only because of personal who were on the Birr Committee years ago.

Birr is capable of holding a county final well capable(it did for 50 years ) and if you are anyone thinks otherwise your blind.


Apparently all the kids that go to the county final in Tullamore don't count, for some reason. Plus it's clearly not that special if parents aren't willing to drive the extra half an hour to have their kids see it - less in the cases of places like Kinnitty, Drumcullen, Kilcormac etc.

And I'm not saying that Birr is not capable of hosting the county final. I'm saying that it's not unreasonable to ask the club to go on record about their official capacity, and to ask the local Gardaí to confirm that if the county final was fixed for SBP, that they wouldn't then turn around and demand an all ticket event, or place any other restrictions on the venue. Birr's unwillingness to address these simple issues has to be seen as a concern.

There were a lot of things that happened at county finals 50 years ago that wouldn't be considered acceptable today.
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby greenairfield » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:14 pm

I suggest your write to the Birr Club, to make it more official..from what I can see your the only one who wants the figures.
I don't think there would be any issue with the guards as there exits to the right of the stand (orchard lane ) and left (the park) so where your heard these rumours the are false....more than OCP actually!!
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Re: Daithi and the heartland

Postby Lone Shark » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:25 pm

greenairfield wrote:I suggest your write to the Birr Club, to make it more official..from what I can see your the only one who wants the figures.
I don't think there would be any issue with the guards as there exits to the right of the stand (orchard lane ) and left (the park) so where your heard these rumours the are false....more than OCP actually!!


I have written to Birr club. I have emailed Birr club.

And if there is no issue with the guards, it shouldn't be a problem to get the guards to say that. It may be the case that they're perfectly happy with the ground taking a capacity crowd, however my experience is that this isn't always the case. For example Kiltoom has an official capacity of around 3,000, but the Gardaí tend to restrict that to 1800, particularly in winter, for reasons to do with parking. Athenry also has issues in that regard, the Gardaí have restricted their capacity in recent years due to the fact exit capacity is limited, and it spills everyone out onto the one road. I believe Markievicz Park has also had it's capacity restricted for similar reasons too, but since they basically never come close to capacity up there, it's not an issue.
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