Championship '17: Weekend at a glance


Fermanagh GAA

Monaghan GAA

Manager Speak

Pete McGrath “Working with players who are committed and talented, who want to be the very best that they can be. That has always given me a lot of satisfaction, a lot of fulfilment. I'd like to think that my enthusiasm sort of interacts with the players.”


Malachy O’Rourke

“I played under-age and senior football with Fermanagh and managed Fermanagh, obviously there is still an emotional attachment there.”

Source: Belfast Telegraph

One To Watch

Ryan McCluskey. Still has it.

Jack McCarron. Genuine scoring threat.


Snatched relegation from National League Div 2, Capable of an upset

Solid league a platform for strong show in Ulster from a battle hardened outfit.

Prospects: Heart or Head

Heart says Ulster GAA semi; Head says qualifiers

Heart All Ireland Semi Final, Head says August football is realistic, then who knows.

Championship Fact

Still to win their first Ulster championship

Played Kerry in the 1930 All Ireland final. They lost

Geared Up

Fermanagh used to wear red shorts.

For a short while Monaghan switched colours to black in amber but reverted to white and blue in the 1930s



Donegal GAA

Antrim GAA

Manager Speak

Rory Gallagher:

“There is going to be a lot of players with not a lot of caps as such under their belts as such and thus it is going to be a relatively new start”.

Source Donegal Democrat

Gearoid Adams: "The Ulster Championship is a special competition and I think this will be a big experience for the new boys

Source Belfast telegraph

One To Watch

Ryan McHugh

CJ McGourty


Superb league campaign integrated a new generation of Donegal players

Relegated but showed definite signs of progress. The toughest draw possible, in terms of distance and opposition

Prospects: Heart or Head

Heart says Ulster title, head says All Ireland semi is a realistic goal

Heart says defeat Donegal and game on, head says a developmental run in the qualifiers on the back of a terrible draw

Championship Fact

Last time they played Antrim at Ballybofey it was dismissed as puke football. How times have changes since then

Ulster Final appearance in 2009 shows what is possible

Geared Up

Donegal’s jersey used to be similar to the Kerry jersey, green with a gold band.

Antrim’s green away jersey is one of O’Neills top sellers.



Tipperary GAA

Cork GAA

Manager Speak

Michael Ryan: Anybody can beat anyone else in Munster. We love it. The Munster Championship is a fantastic competition. It's timeless. It conjures all sorts of images of fantastic men, absolute legends and all these Cu Chulainn like figures doing battle all over Munster. That's what the Munster Championship is and I genuinely believe any result that happens in Munster will not shock me. It is a very finely balanced competition."


Kieran Kingston: the most important thing for me on Sunday is that we give a performance that each player, individually and collectively, can be proud of, and that Cork supporters can be proud of. And that we give of our all. That’s all I can ask from the team


One To Watch

Brendan Maher, not being captain can set him free.

Shane Kingston, has made the breakthrough and looking comfortable


Wheels came off against Galway, and badly. Was there any long-term damage?

Serious disappointment against Limerick but Kieran Kingston is looking for a performance on Sunday

Prospects: Heart or Head

Heart says All Ireland contenders; head says Tipp need to steady the ship.

Heart says a win on Sunday would do wonders for Cork but the head says a qualifier beckons for a developing team.

Championship Fact

Tommy Dunne never won a single championship match against Cork in his 13 year career

In 2005 Cork introduced a dodgy sliotar with Tipp emblazoned on it for a penalty. What happened next….?

Geared Up

Original Tipp Jersey was white with a green sash.

Cork’s original colours were blue with a gold letter C.



Louth GAA

Wicklow GAA

Manager Speak

Colin Kelly: We don't actually get under barbells and dumbbells and try to get as big as we can.

"When we get to the field, we spend the time working on skill sets.

Source: GAA Hour

Johnny Magee: We’ve kept some of our best performances for the Championship, but we just want to be winning. I don’t actually care how that comes on Sunday. But winning now is the only objective.”

Source: Irish Sun

One To Watch

Jim McEneaney

Darren Hayden. Will miss Conor McGraynor now New York GAA. Once scored three goals in a game promoting the headline “Super Conor goes ballistic with blitz that was ferocious”


Missed out on promotion & league final losing twice to Tipp but Louth are on an upward trajectory.

One league win from Seven makes Wicklow underdogs.

Prospects: Heart or Head

Heart says a Leinster defeat of Meath, Head says a Qualifier route may help the team develop.

Heart says any sort of win will do, heart says the back door may be ajar.

Championship Fact

Louth have won Sam Maguire, a big achievement for a Wee County

Won the Tommy Murphy Cup in 2007. Baltinglass won an All Ireland club championship in 1990.

Geared Up

The Louth jersey features the St Brigid's Cross. According to tradition, Saint Brigid was born at Fochard Muirtheimne, about 450 AD, For centuries pilgrims have visited the Holy Well in the graveyard on Faughart Hill.

Hozier, Katie Taylor and Leo Cullen all qualify to wear the classy new Wicklow jersey.



Laois GAA

Longford GAA

Manager Speak

Peter Creedon “we have to circle the wagons and get ready for Longford.”

Source Leinster Express.

Denis Connerton: it bugs me to think that I have yet to manage a Longford team to a win in the Leinster Senior Championship and this is my fifth shot at it

Source: Longford Leader

One To Watch

Donie Kingston, if he’s on song, hard to handle

Dermot Brady, veteran with loads of experience.


Already defeated Longford in the league, but got relegated. That was league, the is Championship

Claim to be more like a club team given their small pool of players. That togetherness could pull them through,

Prospects: Heart or Head

Heart says a win to set up ¼ final with Kildare, head says that might be as far as it goes before the back door opens

Heart says Denis Connerton might just get that Leinster championship win. Head says it might be the only one this season.

Championship Fact

Reached the All Ireland final in 1889 and 1936, won Leinster most recently in 2003 when they were a force to be reckoned with

51 years ago Longford won the national league and went on two years later to win the Leinster Championship.

Geared Up

Laois won their sole All Ireland in the black and amber hoops of Ballygeehan GAA Club

Longford’s played in green and white hoops until they switched to a regal blue number in 1918.



Carlow GAA

Wexford GAA

Manager Speak

Turlough O’Brien

I think it is going to be a tight game, I think Wexford are a very experienced outfit and we will be under pressure to hold them and but look, we have a lot of experience in our team as well so I think we have been bolstered this year by the introduction of some new talent”

Source KCLR

Seamus Mc Enaney: I’m very concerned about the Carlow match. If we could beat Carlow by one point after a replay I would be a very happy man

One To Watch

Darragh Foley

Ciaran Lyng


Good league campaign including a win over Wexford. Talk of a system bodes well.

Won promotion with games to spare but it’s all about the Championship since they defeated London.

Prospects: Heart or Head

Heart says they’d love the chance to test the Dubs in the next round. Head says that’s as far as it goes before the backdoor beckons.

In his heart Banty will be looking for league revenge but the head will tell him progress might be best served through the qualifiers.

Championship Fact

Carlow won the Leinster Championship back in 1944.

Claim to fame Six Leinster and four All Irelands in a Row including the 1916 Final.

Geared Up

Unique colours of Carlow date back to 1910.

Wexford’s Yellow Bellies nickname according to legend dates back to a pre GAA hurling game witnessed by James I who was impressed by their yellow sash and christened the team yellow bellies.



Mayo GAA

Sligo GAA

Manager Speak

Stephen Rochford: We set our own levels of expectation within the group. 

We can’t control or looks to dampen expectations outside. It’s not something that we control so it’s not something that we waste any energy on

Source Irish Times

Niall Carew: Their heads are going to be switched on, not taking anyone for granted. 

"They won't take these guys lightly at all. The first game (of the Championship) is a huge game in Mayo and they'll take it from there

Source: Irish Independent

One To Watch

Aidan O’Shea. This could be his summer.

Mark Breheny, 15 seasons and chasing his second Connacht medal.


Mayo are without doubt in the top four, and could have won Sam. Is this the group to finally bring Sam back to the West?

Negotiated the potential banana skin that is New York. By their own admission they are targeting the last eight by front door or back.

Prospects: Heart or Head

Heart says All Ireland champions, the head asks do they have the willpower, true grit and perseverance to do it all again. 

Heart says a Connacht title, the head says a route through the qualifiers can deliver.

Championship Fact

Mayo have a habit of scoring more points their opponents in All Ireland Finals. So its simple, they need to concede less goals or score more goals.

Ten years ago Sligo won their third Connacht title defeating Galway by a point.

Geared Up

The new Mayo jersey features an embossed version of the county crest on the back.

In 2001 Sligo GAA was fined by the authorities for not wearing their registered colours and subsequently made all black their standard kit.