Leinster Council open to accommodating Kerry's senior hurlers

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The Leinster Council is open to accommodating Kerry in the Leinster SHC, should the Kingdom win the Joe McDonagh Cup.

Kerry’s senior hurlers competed in Leinster in 2016 and 2017.

Arising from discussions with top Leinster Council officials, Kerry county chairman Tim Murphy has revealed that a willingness exists on the part of Leinster Council to allow the county compete in the province at U20 and senior level.

Were Kerry to win the Joe McDonagh Cup this summer, their reward would be a promotion/relegation play-off against the county who finished fifth in the Munster round-robin. There is widespread acceptance that this play-off clause, which is not enforced on Leinster counties who lift the Joe McDonagh Cup, severely limits Kerry’s chances of taking a seat at Munster’s top table.

Murphy believes Kerry hurling would be best served by a return to Leinster (the county competed in the province in 2016 and 2017).

“We have engaged a lot with Jim Bolger in Leinster (Bolger finished his term as provincial chairman in January) on how we might interact and partake in more competitions within Leinster. They are very open to accommodating Kerry, but the biggest hurdle that needs to be crossed is that we get a buy-in from Croke Park as well,” said the Kerry chairman.

A Leinster Council motion at this weekend’s Congress is seeking to increase the number of teams in the Leinster SHC from five to six so as to afford Joe McDonagh-winning counties more time to find their feet at the top level.

“The next step in terms of where we go from here is dependent on the outcome of the Leinster motion at Congress, but more so how we progress in the Joe McDonagh. Were we to win the Joe McDonagh, we’d certainly be looking at advancing the conversation further with Leinster.”

Murphy added: “We have won the last three All-Ireland U21 B hurling championships. We really need to move up to the top grade at this level to advance hurling in the county. There was an offer for our U20s to play in Leinster but the timing just didn’t suit. This is something that will be revisited.”

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