The Munster Council have been quite unequivocal as to the source of the decision to play a Waterford-Cork Munster final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh:
It was Waterford GAA Executive who requested and proposed moving this potential fixture to Pairc Uí Cahoimh [sic] from Semple Stadium
They could have couched it all in the terms of it all being a small misunderstanding, but they have chosen not to. As far as they are concerned – and you have to repeat it to believe it – the source of the request to play the match came from Waterford and had the full blessing of the Waterford County Board. Not only that, but Waterford were negotiating to play any potential clash with Tipperary in Semple Stadium.
It’s not that big a deal where these matches are played. Tipperary and Cork have home-and-away arrangements with each other and with Limerick, which means that Waterford play in Thurles and Cork more often than either of the incumbents. But why would there be a positive effort from Waterford to have the match staged in a particular venue that might at least have the appearance of giving the opposition an advantage? You’d rather hear that we had been outmanoeuvred by the Machiavellian machinations of Frank Murphy who duped the Waterford delegate into this particular course of action than discover that it had all been Waterford’s collective idea in the first place.
Assuming the Munster Council’s version of events is correct. There’s a slightly rushed reference to a “telephone conversation between the Chairman of Waterford GAA and the Secretary/CEO of Munster GAA”. Classic he-said-she-said territory with nothing in writing. The likelihood is that we’ll see responses batted aback and forth with ever decreasing levels of intensity before the whole thing peters out. No harm done, but all a bit odd.
Update: and the truth will set you free. The Waterford County Board were hawking the home advantage for filthy lucre. In the GAA? Shome mishtake shurely. You can see the logic of what they were trying to do and given the aforementioned indifference Waterford should feel towards playing in Cork or Thurles, it shouldn’t have been that big a deal. Some might quibble about treating the venue as a commodity, but it’s the express desire of the Munster Council to maximise the value from the various white elephants provincial venues so what’s the harm? The harm is that they never prepared the ground by letting it be known that sorry folks, we’re broke, and unless a few more of ye dip your hands into your pockets for the Déise Draw we’re going to have to find the revenue from somewhere and sure isn’t Páirc Uí Chaoimh / Semple Stadium a home away from home anyway? Instead they tried to trash it out in smoke-filled rooms then ran away from the backlash. Tsk.