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The argument for splitting Dub...
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The argument for splitting Dublin GAA into eight 'county' teams

In response to exclusive OTB Sports polling which suggests that most people in Ireland would like to see Dublin GAA split in two, OTB AM host Ger Gilroy argued that to be truly effective the county should be split into as many as eight different teams. 

On Tuesday's OTB AM new polling demonstrated that the majority of people living outside of Dublin would like to see the county split into a North and South for the purposes of the All-Ireland championships.

A measure designed to counteract Dublin's dominance of senior Gaelic football, OTB AM host Ger Gilroy argued that a two-way split would be insufficient.

"It doesn't go far enough," he suggested, the populations of North Dublin and South Dublin still considerably too great a challenge for opposing counties to match.

"I don't think splitting it in four goes far enough. You could have six or maybe even eight inter-county sides fielded from the greater metropolitan Dublin area.

"They won't all be brilliant and some of them may be down in Division 3 or 4, but sure as shit two or three of those sides will be the best in the country because they will still have the biggest playing population."

Related Read:

Split Dublin? Exclusive polling suggests majority public support

The All-Ireland winners in eight of the last 10 championships, Dublin's dominance over senior Gaelic football has shown no signs of abating.

Although there are untested avenues open to the GAA whereby a greater competitive balance may be struck which would not require the rearranging of county lines, the OTB AM host did offer some practical benefits that could come from a restructuring of Dublin.

"What is the point of the GAA," he asked, "is it to have big games and fill Croke Park two or three times a year for All-Ireland finals, or is it to have as many people engaged for as long as possible in GAA clubs?

"Aren't you more likely to have more people involved if there is a greater chance of them getting to play inter-county? And, aren't you more likely to keep people involved if there is a hyper-local element to it?

"That whole thing about, 'Oh, it won't be the same if Dublin is split,' well, yeah it won't be this year or next year, but in five years time when you literally know half the team because they're from a few of the super clubs in your area, they will represent you.

"They might not be as good as this Dublin team now, but they're far more accessible. That would be my take on splitting the Dubs."

In Gilroy's vision for this new-look Dublin, the responsibility for managing each team would remain with the current County Board who have "proven they're capable of running these organisations."

In agreement with Gilroy on the basic argument of what the GAA is for, Eoin Sheahan dictated that the emphasis at the highest level must be firmly set on the grassroots.

"The GAA stands for participation and the grassroots player," he stated, "and their ability to play - that is it."

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All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Dublin GAA Gaelic Football Ger Gilroy Otb Am

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