Rugby and football for Croke in 2008

The GAA Central Council has approved the use of Croke Park for rugby 6 nations and football world cup qualifiers in 2008 but have yet to decide on the use of the ground for friendlies.

In addition to closing the door on Croke beyond 2008 and the use of other GAA grounds for rugby and football, the Central Council had a shot at these sports claiming they had not reciprocated by enabling other grounds for GAA sports.

They also confirmed they had heard nothing from Peter Hain regarding his much rumoured commemoration at the forthcoming Ireland v England game.Central Council Meeting

Saturday, February 17

The Central Council held a meeting in Croke Park today to discuss a variety of issues and made the following decisions.

Croke Park 2008

It was agreed to accede to the IRFU and FAI’s request to hold three Six Nation’s Rugby and two World Cup soccer qualifier games respectively in Croke Park in the Spring and Autumn of 2008.

It was also agreed that should planning permission be refused for the Lansdowne Road redevelopment or should any planning permission given render the project unviable, the 2005 Congress decision in relation to use of the Stadium is no longer applicable post 2008.

It was also confirmed that use of no other GAA grounds for any rugby or soccer competitions would be considered and that no such application had been received from the respective governing bodies or are being contemplated by them.

Disappointment was expressed by delegates that no reciprocal gesture was being made to the GAA and that Gaelic games were being excluded from the stadium being built in Tallaght exclusively for soccer which is being financed by the Government in land provided by the local authority.

It was pointed out that a similar situation prevails in relation to Lansdowne Road despite the fact that provision for Gaelic Games was promised in respect of both proposals.

An application in regard to friendly games in 2008 by both the FAI and IRFU was not discussed at today’s meeting.

Bloody Sunday

It was reported that in so far as the GAA is concerned there is no substance to alleged leaks from the Secretary of State’s office in Northern Ireland to the effect that a wreath laying ceremony will take place at the Bloody Sunday memorial in Croke Park on the day of the Ireland v England Rugby game.