Leinster GAA have issued a statement this morning defending the Bord Na Mona Walsh Cup after Kilkenny U21 manager Eddie Brennan called for the competition to be scrapped.
Brennan oversaw the Kilkenny side in this year’s Walsh Cup, made up primarily of U21 players, and saw his side defeated 4-14 to 0-16 by DIT midweek before losing 3-09 to 1-09 against Eamonn Kelly’s Offaly in Birr yesterday.
Speaking on the Walsh Cup yesterday, Brennan believes the competition has “run its course”.
“I have won a few Walsh Cups and it’s a great way to test a few lads and see what’s in their bellies… but I certainly believe the Walsh Cup, an inter-county competition at this time of the year, has run its course. I don’t think there’s anything to be gained from it.
“The amount of matches young lads of 19-to-21-years-old have to play, the last few weeks have really opened my eyes.
“A lot of them are playing freshers or Fitzgibbon Cup and there are huge demands. I have seen some of their programmes and they are training four and five days in-a-row.
“Maybe it’s time to leave this time of the year, leave it to the third level competitions and maybe the Walsh Cup has run its course.”
Leinster GAA Respond
The Walsh Cup, Kehoe Cup and O’Byrne Cup are collectively known as the Accident Tournaments and Leinster GAA Chairman John Horan has been defending their role in the annual calendar.
“Money generated from the attendances at these games is used to address issues of hardship suffered by players, and by ordinary members of the GAA in Leinster.
“This work is done privately and without fanfare, but is an opportunity for Leinster GAA to play a role at helping out individuals and families in a time of need, whenever such a need arises and help is sought.
“Since the games have moved to the month of January, and aided by the sponsorship from Bord na Móna, the Accident Tournaments play a very important role in helping Leinster counties prepare for the start of the national leagues.
“Such is the pressure for league points that the Walsh, Kehoe and O’Byrne Cups are an invaluable opportunity for them to try out new players.
“For the hurlers of Dublin, Galway, Wexford and Offaly the chance to play in the Bord na Móna Walsh Cup final at Croke Park later this month is a very real prize.
What do you think – should the likes of the Walsh Cup be scrapped?