Speaking at the launch of the hurling All-Ireland series at Loughmore-Castleiney on Thursday, GAA president Larry McCarthy said there were no plans to move the 2023 finals back to August.

Following the success of the split season in 2020, a subsequent Congress vote in 2021 decreed that the inter-county championships would conclude at the end of July from this year onwards.

This would allow the entire second half of the year to the club season.

The split season has garnered huge support but in recent weeks some observers have commented that the inter-county series will end too soon in the year.

McCarthy says there are no moves afoot to extend the season by another week or two weeks.

"I'm not the boss," McCarthy said. "Central Council make that decision on that but we have to let this year go through and look at it.

"We're going to have a different year next year, we have to let that go through and see what that's going to bring. Maybe after that but I wouldn't foresee a change for next year."

McCarthy says that the format should be allowed room to breathe.

"Let it run and let's see what the implications of it are," he said.

"You can't make decisions midstream. Let it run out and then we'll look at it as we said we would and we'll have to do it again for next year because we're going to have a different competition structure [in the All-Ireland football championship].

"We'll know next year what it will look like with an increased volume of games and then we'll be able to make an informed decision."

Mayo and Kildare will clash at GAA HQ in round two of the qualifiers

McCarthy also addressed the frequent calls for particular games to be taken out of Croke Park.

Just last weekend the Kerry hurlers were unable to source accommodation for the evening of the Joe McDonagh Cup final.

On top of that there have been calls for provincial and qualifier games to be kept out of Croke Park to ensure better atmospheres and bigger crowds.

Tomorrow's SFC double-header of qualifiers will be played at HQ but that call is under the microscope too.

But the GAA president feels that players want the chance to play at Croker.

"I'm delighted that Clare are coming to Croke Park. That's one of the teams west of the Shannon," McCarthy added.

"The cost of living is a concern for everybody but if teams overnighting in Dublin is an outrageous cost we will have to see what we can do," McCarthy added.

"Mayo have been there quite a lot so I suspect that some of the commentary may be emanating from there, I'm not sure.

"Mayo bring such a crowd - is there a neutral ground between Newbridge and Castlebar that would fit Mayo and Kildare?

"I think players want to play in Croke Park and we're giving them that opportunity."

GAA's newest competition is now at the semi-final stage

Meanwhile, the president is delighted with a positive start to the Tailteann Cup.

In its first year of the series the new competition has prolonged the season for lower tier counties and given them a meaningful summer.

"I'm delighted it has taken off and long may it continue," said McCarthy.

"Everybody seems to have embraced it enthusiastically. Carlow were a bit negative initially, they won a match and it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. They came around to it.

The GAA decided to regionalise the early stages of that series. Again that decision received much scrutiny.

"We ended up with Sligo and Leitrim in the quarters, which was a great event. We had Cavan playing Fermanagh, which was a local one. We were to a certain extent looking to replicate the provincials," the president continued.

"Think of the cost of sending Waterford to Fermanagh and what sort of a gate that might have got. Whereas if Cavan went to Fermanagh it was a better draw and a better event, I would argue.

"I was in Tullamore last Saturday and there was a great atmosphere around the place and a very good crowd. They gave us what we were looking for."

The president also said that possible defections from panels following their provincial championship exits was not a worry.

"You're going to have defections from squads, particularly students who will want to go to America. There was a pent-up demand among kids to get off the island of Ireland this summer anyway. So that’s going to happen and it doesn’t matter if it’s the Tailteann Cup or whatever.

"That doesn’t surprise me. Everybody seems to have embraced it enthusiastically. Carlow were a bit negative initially, they won a match and it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. They came around to it."

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