Draws made for GAA football championship and Tailteann Cup

The big game of the opening weekend looks like it will be Kerry v Mayo in Killarney. Malachy Clerkin followed the draws as they happened


And so, the groups and fixtures look like this...

All-Ireland round-robin


Munster winner (Kerry/Clare, Leinster runner-up (Dublin/Louth), Mayo, Cork

May 20th/21st (First-named team at home): Munster winner v Mayo; Leinster runner-up v Cork

June 3rd/4th (First-named team at home): Mayo v Leinster runner-up; Cork v Munster winner

June 17th/18th (Neutral venue): Munster winner v Leinster runner-up; Mayo v Cork


Connacht winner (Galway/Sligo), Ulster runner-up (Derry/Armagh), Tyrone, Westmeath

May 20th/21st (First-named team at home): Connacht winner v Tyrone; Ulster runner-up v Westmeath

June 3rd/4th (First-named team at home): Tyrone v Ulster runner-up; Westmeath v Connacht winner

June 17th/18th (Neutral venue): Connacht winner v Ulster runner-up; Tyrone v Westmeath


Leinster winner (Dublin/Louth), Connacht runner-up (Galway/Sligo), Roscommon, Kildare

May 20th/21st (First-named team at home): Leinster winner v Roscommon; Connacht runner-up v Kildare

June 3rd/4th (First-named team at home): Roscommon v Connacht runner-up; Kildare v Leinster winner

June 17th/18th (Neutral venue): Leinster winner v Connacht runner-up; Roscommon v Kildare


Ulster winner (Derry/Armagh), Munster runner-up (Kerry/Clare), Monaghan, Donegal

May 20th/21st (First-named team at home): Ulster winner v Monaghan; Munster runner-up v Donegal

June 3rd/4th (First-named team at home): Monaghan v Munster runner-up; Donegal v Ulster winner

June 17th/18th (Neutral venue): Ulster winner v Munster runner-up; Donegal v Monaghan

Tailteann Cup round-robin

GROUP ONE - Cavan, Offaly, Laois, London

May 13th/14th: Cavan v Laois; Offaly v London

May 20th/21st: Laois v Offaly; London v Cavan

June 3rd/4th (neutral venues): Cavan v Offaly; Laois v London

GROUP TWO - Meath, Down, Tipperary, Waterford

May 13th/14th: Meath v Tipperary; Down v Waterford

May 20th/21st: Waterford v Meath; Tipperary v Down

June 3rd/4th (neutral venues): Meath v Down; Tipperary v Waterford

GROUP THREE - Limerick, Wicklow, Longford, Carlow

May 13th/14th: Limerick v Longford; Wicklow v Carlow

May 20th/21st:Longford v Wicklow; Carlow v Limerick

June 3rd/4th (neutral venues): Limerick v Wicklow; Longford v Carlow

GROUP FOUR - Fermanagh, Antrim, Wexford, Leitrim

May 13th/14th: Fermanagh v Wexford; Antrim v Leitrim

May 20th/21st:Wexford v Antrim; Leitrim v Fermanagh

June 3rd/4th (neutral venues): Fermanagh v Antrim; Wexford v Leitrim


As for the Tailteann Cup, which in case we forget starts a week earlier than the Sam Maguire, there’s plenty there for any team that considers itself upwardly mobile enough to go and grab it.

It’s actually a far superior competition this time around than it was last year. For one thing, it’s a round-robin tournament rather than straight knock-out. For another, it has three teams in it that would have been in the Sam Maguire under last year’s format - Meath, Cavan and Fermanagh. So we’ll see matches like Meath v Down, Cavan v Offaly, Fermanagh v Antrim.

The one downside of the round-robin is that teams towards the bottom of Division Four might be more inclined to throw their hat at the Tailteann Cup if things don’t go their way early doors. That could turn out to be be a vicious libel - and if so, apologies in advance. But the competition could do without too many teams getting discouraged and having to go through the motions. Let’s see how it all comes to pass...


Is there a Group of Death? The fact that three teams go through out of every group probably squeezes out the chances of the existance of such an animal but Group One is going to see a right battle for the third spot, I’d imagine. Taking nothing for granted, yadda, yadda - Kerry and Mayo ought to fill spots one and two, making the game between Cork and (presumably) Louth on that opening weekend a crucial encounter.

And if Donegal managed to pull themselves together - it didn’t look likely when losing to Down, granted - but if they did, a group with them, Monaghan, whoever wins the Ulster final and (again, presumably) Clare, definitely has possibilities for teams taking points off each other. Three Ulster teams and Colm Collins’s perennially underestimated squad, who’ve only been dying to get championship games outside of Munster? Could be good.


Random thoughts?

Well, the fact that the draw has taken place before the provincial finals is obviously a bit of a dose. We have the draw but we know only four concrete fixtures out of a possible 24. And even at that, we don’t know where those games will be because they’re the round three neutral venue matches.

But if we do a bit of fate-tempting and assume that Galway, Kerry and Dublin are going to see out the job in the provincial finals (yes, yes, we know that’s against God and nature and the so-called weaker counties), the thing starts to take a bit more shape.

It looks, for example, quite likely that the big game of the opening weekend will be Kerry v Mayo in Killarney. Or maybe it’s Galway v Tyrone in Salthill. Or Dublin v Roscommon in Croke Park.


Group One

Group Two

Group Three


Group One

Group Two

Group Three


Right, onto the Same Maguire. Paddy Andrews had replaced Ross Munnelly and he and the prez are ready to go.

Group One

Group Two

Group Three


Group One

Cavan, Offaly, Laois, London

First round fixtures (May 13th/14th): Cavan v Laois, Offaly v London

Group Two

Meath, Down, Tipperary, Waterford

First round fixtures (May 13th/14th): Meath v Tipperary, Down v Waterford

Group Three

Limerick, Wicklow, Longford, Carlow

First round fixtures (May 13th/14th): Limerick v Longford, Wicklow v Carlow

Group Four

Fermanagh, Antrim, Wexford, Leitrim

First round fixtures (May 13th/14th): Fermanagh v Wexford, Antrim v Leitrim


Group One

Cavan, Offaly, Laois

Group Two

Meath, Down, Tipperary

Group Three

Limerick, Wicklow, Longford

Group Four

Fermanagh, Antrim, Wexford


Group One

Cavan, Offaly

Group Two

Meath, Down

Group Three

Limerick, Wicklow

Group Four

Fermanagh, Antrim


Group One


Group Two


Group Three


Group Four



The Tailteann Cup draw is up first, Larry and Ross are just about ready to rock here.


Gráinne McElwain will be running the show when we get up and going here. GAA president Larry McCarthy will be drawing the teams, Paddy Andrews and Ross Munnelly will be on hand to lend their vast expertise. There will be no dancing girls. This is not Uefa.


The Sam Maguire begins on Saturday, May 20th. The format is the same as the Tailteann Cup – four groups of four, three games for each team. First place after three games gets you straight into the quarter-final, second and third into the preliminary quarter-final draw.


1st seeds: Galway/Sligo, Kerry/Clare, Dublin/Louth, Armagh/Derry (provincial champions)

2nd seeds: Galway/Sligo, Kerry/Clare, Dublin/Louth, Armagh/Derry (provincial runners-up)

3rd seeds: Mayo, Roscommon, Tyrone, Monaghan

4th seeds: Donegal, Cork, Kildare, Westmeath


Okay, so a bit of an explainer first. The Tailteann Cup begins on Saturday, May 13th. Four groups of four, every team gets three games in a round-robin system. The top team in each group goes straight into a quarter-final, the teams who come second and third go into the preliminary quarter-final draw.

There is one exception – New York come into the competition at the preliminary quarter-final stage and so to make room for them, only three of the four third-placed teams will go through. Bad news, then, for whatever team finishes with the worst record of the four third-placed teams. Their season will be over then.


1st seeds: Meath, Down, Longford, Leitrim.

2nd seeds: Cavan, Offaly, Tipperary. Carlow.

3rd seeds: Fermanagh, Antrim, Laois, Waterford.

4th seeds: Limerick, Wicklow, Wexford, London.


It’s a GAA Championship draw – but not as you know it. For the first time in the history of the association, the All-Ireland Football Championship starts as a stand-alone competition a with 16 teams aiming to win the Sam Maguire and 17 going for the Tailteann Cup.

The draws for both competitions begin at one o’clock. Malachy Clerkin here to take you through them.