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Hooray for end of Wintertalk as leagues bring us some real action

By Declan Bogue

For those that feast on the politics of sport, there may be some lamenting that this long, hard grind of Wintertalk is almost at an end. It goes out with a bang with the publication of Pairic Duffy's final report as Director-General in Croke Park.

In his last address before retirement, Duffy had notable contributions to make about the positives of the club-centric month of April, he encouraged clubs to go ahead and play league games without their county men from early May to July, and he put to bed the ridiculous folly that Dublin would be split in two for the purposes of, well, I dunno.

He also had some salty claims about the legitimacy of some media commentary of the Matthew Fitzpatrick suspension in mid-summer, and a rather surprising idea about cutting delegates to Congress in half. Not literally cutting each delegate, you understand, rather the numbers…

Anyway, as much fun as the winter was or wasn't, depending on your levels of cynicism and your appetite for the strain of Viennese Hysteria that has struck down the majority of young fogies and retired-player columnists, it all becomes secondary from this weekend. The National Leagues start. Antrim hurlers are away to All-Ireland champions Galway. Tyrone footballers are also in the City of Tribes.

Slaughtneil camogs are facing Thomastown of Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final.

There's a mountain of action out there. Enjoy.

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