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20th Jul 2018

GAA release statement on Páirc Uí Chaoimh availability for Liam Miller’s memorial

Jack O'Toole

The GAA have confirmed that the availability of Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the playing of games not controlled by the Association can only be reviewed at congress.

Rule 5.1 of the GAA guide states that all GAA property shall ‘be used only for the purpose of or in connection with the playing of the games controlled by the Association’, with the exception of Croke Park.

The GAA have been heavily scrutinised this week after it emerged that organisers of the Liam Miller memorial match had their attempts to play their game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh rebuffed after the Cork county board, who were receptive to the idea, revealed that they were bound to the rules of the GAA.

The GAA said in a statement on Friday:

“The GAA is prohibited in rule from hosting games other than those under the control of the Association in its stadia and grounds. The Cork County Committee and Central Council have no discretion in this matter.

“Only a change at Annual Congress can alter this situation. Congress takes place in February each year.

“The GAA has sought legal advice around funding received towards the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and believes it is compliant with the terms and conditions laid down in September 2016.

“The Association re-affirms its offer to provide hospitality facilities at the venue free gratis to assist fundraising efforts around the Liam Miller Tribute Match and wish the event organisers every success in their endeavours.”

Motions to amend rules in the association are discussed, debated and voted on at congress but occasionally the GAA will call on a special congress to amend rules.

Liam Miller

Special congresses’ have been called to abolish Rule 21, which states that ‘members of the British armed forces or police shall not be eligible for membership of the Association. A member of the Association participating in dances, or similar entertainment, promoted by or under the patronage of such bodies, shall incur suspension of at least three months’.

The Special Congress of October 2006 implemented the revised football qualifier format, first introduced back in 2001, so that the bottom eight or nine teams in the country, based on league standings immediately prior to the championship, were excluded from the qualifier series, and were instead limited to the Tommy Murphy Cup.

Last year, a Special Congress was called to review motions regarding changes to the All-Ireland SHC structure, the All-Ireland MHC and on the kickouts in Gaelic football among other motions.

Liam Miller’s memorial game, and specifically motions on Rule 5.1 and Rule 42, will not go to Special Congress at this stage.

As part of the €80m redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, the developers received €30m in public funding, and the European Union approved the grant on the basis that the stadium “will be open to various users on a non-discriminatory and transparent basis.”

Tickets for the Liam Miller memorial, which will be played between teams of Celtic and Manchester United legends on September 25 at Turner’s Cross, sold out on Friday morning.

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