There was an official GAA Championship Launch night Páirc Uí Chaoimh last night where Cork football selector Des Cullinane was asked about their Páirc Uí Rinn or nowhere stance. He insisted that management and players will not budge.
Quoted via the Irish Examiner Des Cullinane said;
“Absolutely not, this is a unanimous decision taken across players and management,” Cullinane replied when asked if there would be any softening on the ultimatum outlined in last week’s statement released by management and players.
“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 in Páirc Uí Rinn and we are kind of confident enough that common sense will prevail and that the game will go ahead in Páirc Uí Rinn.
“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 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 deal with the matter.” Cullinane can understand the financial reasoning behind Munster Council’s decision and the increased gate receipts that will flow into Munster coffers by having the game in Killarney, but argued that there are other venues throughout the province with a capacity not much greater than Páirc Uí Rinn that will stage key Munster 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.” Given Kerry’s form en route to collecting Division 1 League honours, allied to the development stage Cork are currently at, Cullinane knows that it would be an advantage to the young Rebels to have the game in Páirc Uí Rinn. He does not, however, buy into the narrative that Páirc Uí Rinn is a small pitch and so will give Cork a better chance against Jack O’Connor’s Kerry.
“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.”