McDonagh, Ring, Rackard & Meagher Cups launched at Croke Park
The GAA today launched the 2018 McDonagh, Ring, Rackard and Meagher Cups at Croke Park in the company of players from counties competing in these competitions.
The inaugural McDonagh Cup begins next weekend with the meetings of Meath and Antrim, Carlow and Kerry and Laois and Westmeath. The competition is named after former GAA President and Galway hurler Joe McDonagh.
The following weekend the Ring and Rackard Cups commence. Wicklow, Mayo, Kildare, Roscommon, Derry, London, Down and Armagh all have round one Ring Cup action and Louth, Warickshire, Monaghan, Longford, Tyrone and Donegal get the Rackard Cup up and running.
Fermanagh, Cavan, Lancashire and Sligo get the Meagher Cup off to a start on Saturday May 19.
GAA President John Horan said: “Firstly, I would like to welcome all of the players from the competing counties to Croke Park – a venue they will all be aspiring to play at later in the coming months.
“The Ring, Rackard and Meagher finals will take place here on June 23 and eight days later the McDonagh Cup final will be played on the same billing as the Leinster hurling final giving all competing players something tangible to aim for.
“These competitions have been a welcome addition to our stable of championships since their inception and I am pleased that the McDonagh Cup has been added this year in memory of a great man and as recognition to the strides being made by a number of our counties.
“These games and competitions have provided welcome outlets for inter-county hurling at all levels and the pathway of progression for those counties who continue to promote the game. I wish all of the competing players and counties every success in the weeks ahead.”
Today’s event was organised in conjunction with the Gaelic Players Association.
GPA CEO Séamus Hickey said: “This year the GPA is proud to be jointly promoting the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard, Lory Meagher and Joe McDonagh competitions with the GAA following a GPA motion on the competitions that we fought for at the recent Congress.
“The launch of these competitions today is an exciting day for the squads involved, representatives of which are here today. We are all looking forward to some fantastic hurling over the coming weeks.
“The GPA will also be organizing a series of workshops for players over the course of the competitions in an effort to showcase the many programmes that the GPA offers players to help them thrive on and off the field of play.”