John Prenty

  • The opportunities are limitless for the new the multi-million euro Air Dome now in place at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan.

    That’s according to Connacht Council CEO John Prenty who says yesterday was an incredible day as the dome was inflated which took just over four hours.

    The development at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence will include state-of-the-art 4G playing surfaces, a running track and a multitude of training facilities.

    In recent days a team of engineers have been pulling the inflatable covering over the site.

    Work on filling it with air began yesterday morning and was completed by early afternoon.

    John Prenty says that as well as sporting events the Dome will stage conferences, concerts, trade exhibitions and will hold up to ten thousand people.

    Midwest Radio Sports Editor Michael D McAndrew had the honour of getting a sneak preview inside the Dome today and got the tour of the state of the art facility.

    There will also be some incredible drone footage on our social media channels later today from the facility.

  • This could be the end of the season for GAA club games, with all GAA club games at all levels suspended with immediate effect.

    That’s according to John Prenty, Connacht GAA Council Secretary.

    In a statement this afternoon the GAA's Management Committee said the decision to suspend all games at all levels has been taken in the interest of public safety following a number of incidents that have been brought to its attention in recent days. “In particular, post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing at certain events have proved disappointing and problematic”.

    The directive applies to all ages and all grades across the island.

    Club Social Centres/bars are also to close.

    John explained to Midwest News this evening  that If inter-county games do go ahead next month, it now seems almost certain they will be played behind closed doors.

    If Level 5 restrictions are imposed from midnight tonight, he said, that has implications for the League, and will mean the club championship season has come to an abrupt end, but added it was a great season for club football.

    John told Midwest News this evening that the Association’s decision today that all GAA club games at all levels are suspended with immediate effect, is drastic action taken for the health of everyone.

  • The Connacht Council admit the penalty shootout used to decide the FBD League game between Mayo and Leitrim was an experiment.

    Mayo won 4-1 on spot kicks after the sides played out a 2-13 all draw in Carrick on Shannon.

    Connacht Council secretary John Prenty says extra time was scrapped due to concerns over visibility.

    He has also revealed Connacht have been looking at different ways to complete games when windy conditions make free taking competitions a lottery.

  • The  €3 million Air Dome project at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan will be completed in early September.

    Construction on the Air Dome in Bekan commenced last October but was halted in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    Work on the facility, which will be the largest indoor sports facility of its kind in the world, recommenced last week after the country moved into phase 1 of the restrictions being eased.

    The dome will be 150m x 100m and 26m high with a full size pitch, gym, testing area and office space inside. It will complement the provincial body’s existing facilities in Bekan.

    Connacht GAA Secretary John Prenty is optimistic the pitches will be completed by next month with the entire project set to be finished in September.

  • The Galway county board have expressed their sympathy with Sligo, after the Yeats county were forced to give a walkover in this Saturday's Connacht semi-final.

    A Covid-19 outbreak in the Sligo panel has seen them unable to field a team, due to significant numbers being deemed close contacts.

    Sligo's county board say the players and management are "extremely upset" by the events, while Galway have said it is "disappointing for everybody concerned".

    John Prenty - CEO of Connacht GAA - says a rearranged fixture just wasn't possible.

  • Connacht GAA Secretary John Prenty and Provincial Games Manager Cathal Cregg will host a webinar this evening as they introduce the world's largest sports air dome at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence.

    With a completion date of September 2020, the Dome's full-size pitch, gym, running track and large-scale events potential are a game-changer for school, club and county teams as well as businesses and community groups.

    People can learn more about this event by logging onto Connacht GAA’s Facebook Page at 6.30pm this evening.

  • The GAA has announced the membership and also the terms of reference for the new Fixtures Calendar Review Task Force.

    The committee, which has been established by Uachtarán John Horan, has been tasked with having a report with recommendations ready for next November, and which will drive a discussion ahead of the potential for rule changes to be voted on at Congress 2020.

    The GAA Fixtures Calendar Review Task Force is:


    Eddie O’Sullivan (Chair) Member of An Coiste Bainistíochta, former club chair St Sylvester’s GAA, Dublin


    Micheal Martin (Wexford) Chair GAA National Fixtures Analysts Committee


    Kevin O’Donovan (Cork), CEO Cork GAA


    Stephen Barker (Derry), Ulster GAA CCC


    John Costello (Dublin), CEO Dublin GAA


    John Prenty (Mayo), Secretary Connacht Council GAA


    Michael Higgins (Galway) CPA Representative


    Ronan Sheehan (Down) GPA Representative


    Michael Hyland (Galway) Chair GAA Higher Education Committee


    Seamus Woods (Down) Chair GAA Post Primary Schools’ Committee

    Conor O’Donoghue (Meath) County Minor team manager

    In addition to the formation of the Task Force, the following terms of reference have been drawn up to assist the new committee in their deliberations.

     - To consider current significant issues affecting the GAA Fixtures Calendar, including the current positioning and footprint of inter-county competitions and the time available for clubs.

     - To examine current national competition structures and their timing in the context of the time available for the inter-county game.

     - To make recommendations, by November 2019, on options for change for consideration by Ard Chomhairle and Congress, outlining the likely implications of each for the Association.

    The Task Force has been asked to give particular consideration to:

    -       The timing and structure of the main senior inter-county competitions (pre-season, league and championship) including the need for a closed season

    -       The rules governing the monitoring and governance of fixtures at club level as well as the structure of championships

    -       The practicalities of delivering a ‘Calendar Year’ with Club Finals being played before year end

    -       The timing of and eligibility for 3rd Level competitions

    -       The timing of and eligibility for U20 inter-county competitions in the context of the Talent Academy Review recommendations

    -       The present Minor (U17) competition

    The Task Force, in its deliberations, should review the various fixture-related reports in recent times and recommendations and proposals therein. In addition, it should elicit a range of views from specialist interested parties including, but not restricted to, the Central Competitions Control Committee and the National Fixtures Analysis Committee, and more widely from other interested individuals.



  • The gates will open at 3.30 for the Mayo match on Saturday for an unconfirmed music artist.

    Connacht Council GAA Secretary John Prenty, confirmed to Midwest Sport that the gates would open early to facilitate fans going to the 6pm throw-in, to avail of the music act before the game gets underway.

    All tickets are allocated for the Green and Red’s clash with the Donegal as both teams seek an elusive All-Ireland semi-final spot.

    Donegal need a draw or more, while Mayo must win to advance to the last four and set up a meeting with the winners of Tyrone and Dublin.

    We’ll have live coverage of the game on Midwest Radio from half past five.

  • The GAA confirmed on Friday that the 2020 All-Ireland football championship will be straight knock-out while the hurling championship will contain a backdoor format.

    For the first time since 2000, the football championship will be a do-or-die scenario with the All-Ireland final set to be staged on Saturday, December 19th, two weeks after the semi-finals.

    The hurling final will be played on Sunday, December 13th.

    All knockout games will be finished on the day, with penalties if required, including provincial and All-Ireland finals.

    The inter-county scene will recommence on October 17th where the final two rounds of the league will be played before the race for Sam Maguire begins in earnest. 

    Connacht GAA Secretary John Prenty says there is a lot of challenges to be met between now and October from an inter-county point of view.

    He says the process of a return has been underway since March and this is now the fifth programme which he hopes will come to fruition.

    It is unsure yet where Mayo’s Connacht Senior Football Quarter Final with Leitrim will be.

    There is likely to be problems around social distancing and Croke Park will probably host the provincial decider.

    John Prenty joined Michael D. McAndrew on Sunday Sport today to discuss a range of topics and look at the roadmap ahead.