Monday 25 March 2019

GAA Congress 2019: Dublin set to continue to play two Super 8 games at Croke Park despite objection from Donegal

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael John Horan, right, with Iar Uachtarán Aogán Ó Fearghail during the GAA Annual Congress 2019 at the Clayton Whites Hotel in Ferrybank South, Wexford. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael John Horan, right, with Iar Uachtarán Aogán Ó Fearghail during the GAA Annual Congress 2019 at the Clayton Whites Hotel in Ferrybank South, Wexford. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
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Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

An attempt by Donegal to prevent Dublin footballers having two of three ‘Super 8’ games in Croke Park has failed.

Congress voted on a 64-36 per cent majority against a proposal to prevent any county from nominating GAA HQ as a home venue for a ‘Super 8’ game.

Dublin weren’t specifically mentioned in the motion, but since they are the only county availing of Croke Park as a home venue, they would have been directly affected if the Donegal motion were passed.

It would have involved a switch to Parnell Park, which has a capacity of only 8,000 for all-ticket games. Dublin played Donegal and Roscommon in Croke Park in last year’s ‘Super 8s’ and travelled to Omagh to take on Tyrone.

Donegal argued that it was unfair to allow any county have two ‘Super 8’ games in Croke Park but there was string of opposition to the proposal led by former GAA President, Sean Kelly.

Describing it as “a negative motion that deserved a negative response”, he said that that teams aspiring to beat Dublin wanted to do it it in Croke Park.

Tony Dempsey (Wexford) and Francis Flynn (Meath) also spoke against the Donegal proposal while Dublin CEO, John Costello categorised it as ‘a divisive and mean-spirited’ motion.

“This is the first time I can recall a Congress where there is a specific motion that has targeted on county,” he said.

Donegal’s Seamus O’Donnell said  it was about fairness to all counties and addressing an imbalance. Other than Donegal, no county spoke in favour of the motion.

It needed more than 60 per cent to be passed but could only muster 34 per cent.

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