Tipperary captain Conor Sweeney is Munster Footballer of the Year
Three Tipps honoured by Munster
Tipperary County Boards turning down of the transfer requests of the five Knockavilla Kickhams players to Cashel King Cormacks is hardly surprising. In fact, any other decision would probably have turned the whole parish rule provisio on its head.
The basic tenet of the GAA was being questioned with the transfer request of the five players to Cashel King Cormacs eventhough they are still living in their own parish - in fairness to them, they were honourable in their submission and didn't resort to including phantom addresses in the City of the Kings.
Granted their appeal wasn't as simple as all that and the inclusion of the force majeure caveat - they were basically seeking to have the transfers permissable under extraordinary circumstances, but the Board were buying it, and after much consideration, they turned down the requests.
The Knockavilla Kickhams players now have the option to appeal the decision of the Board, though it would seem unlikely that any other organ of the Association would overturn a decision with its foundations in the very core of the Associations beliefs. The parish rule is sacrosanct in Tipperary and the Board officials were obviously fully aware of the pitfalls associated with diminishing its standing in any way.
So what now for the Knockavilla Kickhams players? If they appeal and are unsuccessful in their bid, what next?
Who knows, but all involved are probably fortunate that the season has been delayed with the Covid-19 pandemic. That has allowed for some breathing space to get business done and to move through the stages without losing on-pitch playing time.
That oxygen is running out now though and hopefully teams will be back training soon - how soon we don't know, but if players are to join forces with a new club they would want time to bed-in with their new colleagues before they engage in championship action.
A betting man would throw his shillings on Cashel King Cormacs playing out the 2021 championship without the Knockavilla Kickhams quintet.
But, time will tell.
Football for the Fore
The football code has been enjoying a lot of success in Tipperary with the capturing of the 2020 Munster senior crown.
But, twelve months ago a punter would have gotten great odds on a bet which suggested that David Power would be the Munster Manager of the Year, and Conor Sweeney would the Munster Footballer of the Year.
It was a surreal year in many ways but it was an unreal one too for Tipperary - unreal in a good sense that is. Winning the provincial crown catapulted Tipperary into the awards limelight and no men deserved the Munster honours more than captain fantastic Conor Sweeney, and the Manager with the midas touch, David Power.
2021 will be another big year for Tipp - they will have to push on, build on what they achieved last year and make progress. If there is to be a league campaign, promotion has to be on the agenda, and then of course, defending the provincial crown will be a big thing for David, Conor, their panel of players and management team.
Of course the brilliant Mary Ryan of Moneygall also won a Munster crown as the Camogie Player of the Year - a fitting honour for as sound and solid a player as Tipperary have ever had. Mary finally won her All Star Award for her exploits in 2020, having been nominated on multiple occasions, but Tipperary supporters didn't have to see her winning such awards to know what a star she has been in the blue and gold jersey.
Her grandfather, the late Seamus O'Riain, former GAA President, would be so proud of Mary, not just as a plyer, but as an ambassador for womens sport and for the Premier County.
It has been a brilliant week for Premier County women in sport with another Tipperary lady, Rachael Blackmore claiming the unofficial title of Queen of Cheltenham following a pulsating festival for the Killenaule lady. With the likes of Sarah McKevitt, Aishling Moloney, Aisling McCarthy, Karen Kennedy, Sharlene Mawdsley, Nicole Drought and many other Tipperary ladies excelling in their chosen disciplines, there is no shortage of inspiration for all young girls who wish to aspire to greater things in sport and life.