The traditional Interpro GAA series is in grave danger after Connacht have decided to not take part in the competition.
Earlier this year the GAA had confirmed that the games had been moved to December from February but the interest doesn’t seem to be there and this news from Connacht is only going to add to the detractors.
The Railway Cup as it is affectionally know has been in existence for almost 100 years but has struggled to grab the public’s imagination in recent years with last year’s football final only attracting 150 spectators.
The Finals used to be played on St. Patricks Day in Croke Park back in the 50s, 60s and 70s but the emergence of the Club Championships have really put the Railway Cup on the backfoot in the minds of many people.
Connacht secretary John Prenty told RTE Sport their reasons for the withdrawal.
“We feel it has run its course and we decided at the beginning of the year that we wouldn’t compete this year.
“I don’t think we’ll take part again but what the other three provinces will do again I don’t know.”
In response new Louth manager Pete McGrath feels this is the death knell for the competition.
“All I know is there are two things; that Connacht have definitely withdrawn. The only other thing I know is that I have not had contact at all from Brian McAvoy in the Ulster council about the Railway Cup.
“I have enquired but there hasn’t been a peep about it. The International Rules team is in Australia at the moment and Colm O’Rourke made a reference to it about a fortnight ago in his article in the Sunday Independent.
“It was a throwaway remark about something that had already been put into cold storage and he said, ‘It’s going the same way as the Railway Cup.'”
“I know for a number of years in recent times, Connacht were very grudgingly involving themselves in the Railway Cup. It appears to me that the Connacht council didn’t really have any great love for it, particularly in recent years.”