The great championship day in Nowlan Park, when Kilkenny and Tipperary senior hurlers collided, should prompt a re-think in the GAA.
“That day will never be fortotten for the atmosphere, occasion and the quality of the contest as players became heroes and legends on a day to savour forever,” was the summary from Kilkenny County Board secretary, Jimmy Walsh, of the ‘sell out’ All-Ireland Qualifiers clash between the greatest of hurling rivals.
But for Mr Walsh, the day, the 24,000 fans, the occasion sent a clear message to the GAA: “Afterwards the hurling fold turned the City into a Mardi Gras festival as they drew breath and reflected on the game.
“The game renewed the focus on hosting big games in compact county grounds where the atmosphere and occasion could be felt.”
The Windgap official delivered his message in his first annual address, having been elected the previous year.
One of his few comments on a national issue related to the National League when he welcomed the quarter-finals in 2014. He welcome this as a step “to the most competitive League format to date.”
Mr Walsh offered a “think first, check it out” message to clubs in relation to the minefield that can be public liability, property and hirers insurance.
“For players’ injuries it is essential that every link in the chain is in place to ensure suitable outcomes and no loss of expenses or earnings,” he warned.
“This includes the playing of only players who have paid their membership and are regisgtered online; the use of mouthguards in football and in 2014 the wearing of properly constructed helmets at all times.
“For games the habit of using printed teams lists, ensuring injuries are notified to the referee who in turn returns every match report to Nowlan Park, along with the early and on time notification to the insurance company is essential.
“The required paperwork and receipts for treatment from the player are a must to avoid delays.”