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Dessie Farrell’s Dublin stick to Croke Park for league despite relegation to Division 2

Dessie Farrell's Dublin team will play their 2023 home league games in Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE

Colm KeysIndependent.ie

Dublin will continue to play their home league fixtures in Croke Park in 2023 despite their drop to Division 2, which could lead to smaller attendances.

Dessie Farrell’s team will have three home matches in their campaign, including an opener against Kildare on Saturday, January 28, at 5.0. They will have a further home game against Clare before rounding up their regulation fixtures against Louth in the last round on Sunday, March 26.

The schedule means Dublin will have back-to-back away games against Limerick and Cork in rounds two and three and then Derry in Celtic Park and Meath in Páirc Tailteann in rounds five and six, on Saturday, March 4 and Saturday, March 18.

The Clare game is on the same ticket as the Dublin/Tipperary hurling league match on Saturday, February 25. The times have yet to be confirmed as the fixtures are only provisional.

Dublin have played almost all their league fixtures in Croke Park since the ‘spring series’ was conceived in 2011 during Pat Gilroy’s managerial reign. The thinking was that bigger crowds could attend their games to work as a useful promotional tool in the capital.

Only in 2020, during Covid, when there were no crowds permitted at games, did they return to Parnell Park for a home league match against Meath.

The number of games Dublin lost at Croke Park in the decade since their move to Croke Park was in single figures, but in last year’s campaign there were defeats to Armagh and Mayo on Jones’s Road.

It is the third successive year that Dublin will have more away than home games in a league campaign. In a truncated 2021 season, they had two games away to Roscommon and Galway, with their ‘home’ game against Kerry held in Thurles as a penalty for a Covid training breach.

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