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Dual county (Irish: Contae déach) is a term used in Gaelic games to describe a county that competes at a similar level in both hurling and Gaelic football. For example, Dublin play in Division 1 in both the NHL and NFL, while Laois compete in the second tier of the football competition and the first tier of the hurling competition.
Among the dual counties generally recognised are:
Only Tipperary and Cork have won both premier men's competitions, the All-Ireland Senior Hurling and All-Ireland Senior Football championships in the same year. Tipperary won both in 1895 and 1900, while Cork won both in 1890 and 1990. Tipperary would today be regarded as primarily a hurling county, having not won a major senior football title since 1935 but won the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship in 2011 and the Munster Senior Football Championship in 2020.
Dublin have made improvements in hurling since the turn of the millennium, winning the 2011 National Hurling League and the 2013 Leinster Senior Hurling Championship, and are now considered to be a dual county.
Other counties that feature in the lower tiers of Hurling and Football Divisions could also be classified as Dual Counties. Westmeath and Carlow would be considered as having strong hurling bases, along with pockets in Down.
Derry is a small dual county. Counties such as Wicklow, Sligo, Leitrim, Meath and Kildare have a steady and growing hurling population. These, and counties such as Derry, are outperforming their footballing counterparts in both their respective League and Championship competitions.
Dual player is a similar phrase used to describe players who play both sports.
- Brolly, Joe (23 August 2020). "The possibility of not entering a senior team in the championship may sound radical, but it is the inevitable". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
In a small dual county, in a vain bid to keep up with the Joneses, we have been spending over £45,000 a month on our senior teams... What has all this expenditure bought us? To Division 4. And now, Division 3 mid-table mediocrity.
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