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Horan aims to revive Antrim if elected as GAA President

By John Campbell

It can be safely assumed that there will be no strenuous objections in Antrim in particular should current Leinster Council chairman John Horan be chosen as President-elect of the GAA at Congress next month.

Horan, never a man to mince his words yet someone who is warm, engaging company, has already made it clear that should he be elected he will have the welfare of Antrim hurling - and by extension Ulster hurling - very much in his focus.

There is currently a stand-off between the Leinster Council and Galway because although the Western County have been competing in the Leinster Hurling Championship since 2009, they must play all their games away from home and are not permitted to participate in the province's Minor and Under-21 Championships.

Horan believes there are wider issues involved and cites the current situation in Antrim.

"I think this particular hurling issue involves more than just Leinster and Galway. It involves the whole hurling community. You cannot forget Antrim either at this time because Antrim are struggling," insisted Horan.

"Antrim is a great, strong base of hurling but from a competitive point of view it's just not happening for them on the national stage.

"To my mind there are a lot of issues there still on the table. Hurling is going well but it still needs to be strengthened in the areas where it is slipping a little bit. I think we must address this sooner rather than later."

Horan's views have already been taken on board by other GAA chiefs but it will be interesting to see if a plan of action is formulated to deal with what are perceived anomalies in hurling on a national scale.

Certainly, Horan's possible elevation to the presidency - there are five candidates in the race in all - could offer fresh hope in relation to the restructuring of competitions that might provide encouragement for Antrim and Ulster going forward.

Belfast Telegraph


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