Des Cullinane: Páirc Uí Rinn or nowhere for Cork's clash with Kerry

Cork football selector hoping Munster Council will reinstate game to Rebel county venue
Des Cullinane: Páirc Uí Rinn or nowhere for Cork's clash with Kerry

Cork football selector Des Cullinane and hurling selector Diarmuid O'Sullivan at the Sports Direct championship preview event at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. 

Cork senior football selector Des Cullinane said that as far as the players and management are concerned their Munster championship clash with Kerry goes ahead at Páirc Uí Rinn and nowhere else.

He was also thankful to Cork County Board for backing their stance, as the board make contact last week with the Munster Council to formally request that Páirc Uí Rinn be reinstated as the venue for the ga, which is due to take place on Saturday, May 7. At present, the game remains fixed for Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, on the same date.

He was speaking at Sports Direct's championship launch, where they also unveiled a new Cork training top, which will be available to buy in the next few weeks.

Des is hopeful that a decision will be made in Cork's favour and was confident that common sense will prevail and the game will be reinstated for the Cork venue by the Munster Council.

But if they don't have a change of mind then he said that Cork "will not be playing the match in any other venue".

Cullinane admitted that the ongoing venue saga was a "distraction", but that it was no longer being mentioned at training. He also said that Cork have a number of challenge games lined up for Páirc Uí Rinn in the coming weeks in the expectation that this is where they will be playing their championship opener on May 7.

"Absolutely not, this is a unanimous decision taken across players and management," Cullinane replied when asked if there would be any change in their stance on the matter.

"We appreciate the county board's full support and really the ball is in the Munster Council's court now. We have set out our position; we are playing the match at Páirc Uí Rinn and we are kind of confident enough that common sense will prevail and that the game will go ahead there.

Cork camogie star Orla Cronin and former Cork ladies footballer Valerie Mulcahy at the Sports Direct event which also saw the launch of a new pink training kit for Cork GAA. 
Cork camogie star Orla Cronin and former Cork ladies footballer Valerie Mulcahy at the Sports Direct event which also saw the launch of a new pink training kit for Cork GAA. 

"We are determined that we will honour the fixture that was made on February 1, 2022. We were told the match was in Páirc Uí Rinn and our preparation has been around playing in Páirc Uí Rinn. We have a couple of challenge games coming up there in the next couple of weeks and I just think it is a pity that this confusion has arisen.

"We appreciate the board's full support, and it is important that we have this united front and there is no dispute between us. We are all on the same hymn sheet for this and we are happy enough to leave them to deal with the matter."

Cullinane said he understood the financial reasoning behind the decision to move the game to Killarney, but pointed out that there are other venues with a capacity similar to Páirc Uí Rinn that will stage hurling championship games in the coming weeks.

"There are a lot of economic arguments you can make one way or the other," Cullinane continued.

"Can you guarantee that there will be 22,000 in Killarney? There mightn't be. Look, there is going to be a huge scramble for tickets for Cork and Waterford in the Munster SHC in Walsh Park and I am sure there will be a similar scramble for tickets for Limerick and Clare in Ennis. If the Munster Council are being consistent around financial arguments, you can follow that logically in a lot of directions.

"At the end of the day, it is not all about finance either. It is about Cork have a home venue and we want to play it in our own backyard. We would have no issue going to Killarney if the match had originally been fixed for Killarney. It probably is an advantage to us in the sense that we are playing at home, but this notion that Páirc Uí Rinn is a small pitch - the pitch was measured and it is very close in its dimensions to Croke Park. It is not a small pitch but because of the nearness of the wire and the stand, it feels a bit more enclosed and tight. It probably is an advantage to us and we want that advantage."


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