The Drunken Druid GAA Format

Home, Musings, Sport

3 Competitions: Starting and Finishing with the All-Ireland (Football).

  1. All-Ireland Championship
  2. Padai O’Shea Cup (Straight knock-out competition)
  3. Provincial Championships 

All-Ireland Championship: Four Main Points.

  1. Season Starts & ends with the All-Ireland.
  2. Rival and/or Neighboring counties play each other home & away every year.
  3. Ensuring local and traditional rivalries continue (& increase).
  4. More games, ensuring the best teams rise to the top.

DETAILSAll-Ireland Championship

Counties are placed into four groups of eight/nine: North, South, East & West. Each county plays 14/15 games (7/8 home, 7/8 away) with the top four team in each group progressing to the last 16 (First vs Forth & Second vs Third, played in neutral venues). From there, winners go to the quarter-finals, semi-finals & final (played in Croke Park). The bottom four team in each group progress into a second tier knockout competition. Not only does this system ensure the best teams prevail, it also creates rivalries between neighboring counties leading to higher attendances and a greater interest from local communities. Having guaranteed annual ‘Derby Matchs’, this new format would be welcomed by die-hard fans, while attracting casual sports fans and people living here who are not familiar with Irish culture. For example, imagine every May Bank holiday weekend we knew Cork would be playing Kerry (or Galway/Mayo) and what that could do for the sport of GAA. And imagine every June Bank holiday weekend we knew Kildare would be playing Wicklow (or Derry/Antrim) and what that could do for local towns and villages in those areas.


All-Ireland Championship

NORTH: Monaghan, Tryone, Cavan, Donegal, Down, Derry, Fermanagh, Armagh, Antrim.

SOUTH: Kerry, Cork, Tipperary, Wexford, Carlow, Limerick, Waterford, Kilkenny.

EAST: Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Offaly, Laois, Westmeath, Wicklow.

WEST: Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Clare, Sligo, Longford, Leitrim, London.

Last 16: (top 4 in each group – Random draw 1st v 4th, 2nd v 3rd) eg. Monaghan vs Louth. Kerry vs Clare. Dublin vs Galway. Meath vs Wexford. Tryone vs Tipperary. Cork vs Roscommon. Kildare vs Cavan. Mayo vs Donegal.

Quarter-Finals: (Random Draw) eg. Monaghan vs Kerry. Dublin vs Meath. Tryone vs Cork. Kildare vs Mayo

Semi-Finals: (Random Draw) eg. Kerry vs Dublin. Cork vs Mayo 

Final: Dublin vs Mayo


Padai O’Shea Cup: Four Main Points.

  1. Counties from different parts of the country play each other.
  2. All counties have the chance to play in New York or London.
  3. Final is played in different county every year (GAA – County of the year).
  4. More beneficial to weaker counties.

DETAILS: Padai O’Shea Cup

A straight knock out competition (FA Cup Style, no back door) with one host-county that is the GAA’s focus for the year. An open draw from start to finish with one exception: The top 8 team (All-Ireland quarter finalists) from last year are seeded and drawn away from home in the first round. With the inclusion of New York and London, it opens up the possibility of any county traveling abroad and not just the Connaught counties. Teams drawn first should have home advantage. Semi-finals to be played in Croke Park (Double Header) with the final played in a different, pre-chosen host county each year (Champions League-Style final), creating a GAA-Festival style weekend. This competition introduces different counties to….. different counties. Its spreads the game of GAA though ‘competition with a festive conclusion’.


Padai O’Shea Cup

Preliminary Round: (Random draw, bottom 4 counties)

eg. New York vs Kilkenny. London vs Wicklow.

Last 32: (Random Draw, top 8 counties seeded & drawn away)

eg. Derry vs Donegal. Sligo vs Cork.

New York vs Dublin. Westmeath vs Tryone.

Down vs Monaghan. London vs Kerry.

Carlow vs Mayo. Antrim vs Kildare.

Limerick vs Tipperary. Clare vs Fermanagh.

Longford vs Waterford. Laois vs Galway.

Offaly vs Roscommon. Leitrim vs Wexford.

Meath vs Cavan. Louth vs Armagh.

LAST 16: (Random Draw, 1st team = Home advantage)

eg. Donegal vs Dublin. Monanagh vs Tipperary.

Longford vs Mayo. Offaly vs Meath.

Louth vs Leitrim. Galway vs Fermanagh.

Kildare vs Kerry. Tryone vs Cork

Quarter-Finals: (Random Draw, 1st team = Home advantage).

eg. Donegal vs Monanagh. Mayo vs Offaly.

Louth vs Galway. Kerry vs Cork.

Semi-Finals: (Random Draw, Croke Park/Double Header).

eg. Donegal vs Mayo. Galway vs Kerry.

Final (Played in an annual host venue).

Donegal vs Kerry


Provincial Championships: Four Main Points. 

  1. Back to Basics
  2. Returning provincial finals to national sporting events.
  3. No back door (every game counts).
  4. The 4 provincial finals played over one weekend.

DETAILS: Provincial Championships 

Back to Basics. No backdoor, no qualifiers, just great regional matchs between great regional teams. Provincial championships represent everything that is to be celebrated about being Irish. From the local radio station to the local volunteer, from a crappy version of the national anthem to discovering a great fish and chip shop, from Croke Park to Clones, and from Pearse Statium to Páirc Uí Chaoimh, provincials finals are the strongest link to our past and deserve a permanent place in our future. Under this system it would be as before (Connaught, Leinster, Munster & Ulster), but with all four finals played over one weekend. In summery – “We tell the world about the All-Ireland, but we tell our children about the provincials”.




Provincial Championships

(The Draw) ……..As it has always been

(with one main change)

One Weekend = Four Finals


Kerry vs Cork. Galway vs Mayo. Donegal vs Tryone. Dublin vs Meath



The DRUNKEN DRUID’s GAA’s football format is both simple and unique. It starts in February/March with the opening round of the All-Ireland Championship and finishes with the traditional All-Ireland Final. In-between are annual local matchs to showcase to the world and crowd-gathering games to promote the game to the next generation. From taking Dublin out of Croke Park while at the some time bringing more match’s to Croke Park, this is system is a win-win for all 32 counties.



This DRUNKEN DRUID SYSTEM is aimed at promoting the GAA at an international level (annual events) and local level (home & away games, Padai O’Shea Cup etc) so if you would like to to show support, please like and share, and if you’d like further information or a spokesperson: please contact 087-6619538 or









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