Laois GAA stars to miss out on Colleges GAA for 2021

Brian Lowry

Reporter:

Brian Lowry

Email:

brian.lowry@leinsterexpress.ie

Laois GAA stars to miss out on Colleges GAA for 2021

There will be no Colleges GAA action for the 2020/21 academic year.

THE GAA’s Higher Education committee have this Wednesday morning confirmed that there will be no Third level Championships taking place in the remainder of this academic year.

The committee had been hopeful of staging a comprehensive programme of games, including the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups, but given the current landscape in the country and the public health difficulties, this will not be possible.

While this means there will be no matches played in the remainder of the academic year, the body have committed to a consultation process with key stakeholders in the hope that some of the disappointing outcomes of 2020/2021 can be offset going forward.

Iin terms of Laois, IT Carlow would have been the College where most of the Laois representatives would have come from including 2020 Laois senior hurling Captain Enda Rowland who was all set for another year of Fitzgibbon Cup action with IT Carlow.

Competitions such as the Fitzgibbon Cup, Sigerson Cup, O'Connor Cup, Ashbourne Cup and all other third level competitions, including fresher league and championships have been shelved.

IT Carlow, under the guidance of Laois GAA legend Pat Critchley had made the Sigerson Cup final last year but instead of building on that feat, they will now have to look further down the line and hope that all the colleges action gets back under way for the 2021/22 academic year.

"We’re very disappointed that our championships will not take place. Comhairle Ardoideachais had planned for and were hopeful of all of our championships, including the Fitzgibbon and Sigerson Cups, going ahead but it’s apparent that it won't be possible for this year. We wish to thank all the colleges, the clubs, club committees, students, students unions and the hard working development officers for their understanding and their ongoing commitment to our sector," said Chairman of the body, Michael Hyland.

"There is a lot of uncertainty about when games will recommence at club and county level and what the calendar will look like in 2021 but as the situation becomes clearer, we will work with the clubs, colleges, development officers and all stakeholders to try and find ways to mitigate against the effects of our students not having had any games this academic year and we are really looking forward to a return to play in October," said Hyland.

"We will work with everyone, including our sponsors Electric Ireland, in the coming months and ensure a comprehensive fixtures calendar. We are particularly mindful of the current First Year students who have missed out Fresher competitions and the vital role that it plays in getting players involved in Third Level GAA. We are looking forward staging second year competitions for this year’s Freshers which we hope will take place in the first Semester of the 2021/2022 academic year.

He continued: "We are looking forward to securing the space in the GAA calendar for third level - week 7 and 8 for Sigerson and Fitzgibbon and thank everyone for their support in securing these dates which can only help all our students, clubs and our sector generally.

"Finally I would like to wish all our players well for the studies in the year and would like to wish all those involved in our sector the very best and good health as we get through Covid-19."