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Semple hurling semi-final unlikely

The GAA's top brass have shot down the idea of an All-Ireland senior hurling semi-final being staged at Semple Stadium this year.

Thurles Town Council is preparing to write to the Munster Council and GAA authorities, seeking to have the provincial decider and an All-Ireland semi-final staged in Thurles to coincide with the town being the European Town of Sport for 2012.

But a leading Croke Park official insisted last night that the prospect of staging an All-Ireland semi-final in Thurles is "remote."

Munster Council chairman Sean Walsh, meanwhile, pointed out that fixtures are already pencilled in for the coming championship season, but that the provincial showpiece may be held at Semple Stadium in any event, depending on what two counties are involved.

Walsh said: "We have already made our schedule for the year. Fixtures depend on home and away agreements and arrangements between counties and the Munster final falls into that category."

A Croke Park source: "The idea of moving any of the games in the All-Ireland series out of Croke Park would present logistical problems, especially in the area of long-term ticketing. And All-Ireland semi-finals are one of the big draws in terms of long-term ticketing.

"Another issue is the prospect of having Tipperary at 'home' in an All-Ireland semi-final."

Belfast Telegraph


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