Wednesday 22 January 2020

Liam Miller charity match organisers to meet with GAA officials tomorrow

Organisers of the Liam Miller charity match were refused permission to host the game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Organisers of the Liam Miller charity match were refused permission to host the game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Organisers of the Liam Miller Charity match will meet with GAA officials tomorrow (Tuesday) in a bid to get the game involving former Ireland, Manchester United and Celtic players moved from Turner's Cross to Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The GAA had reiterated on Friday that it was rule-bound to reject the chance to host the September 25 match but on Saturday they released a statement to say that President John Horan and Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan would meet with organisers to discuss the matter.

The Irish Examiner reported over the weekend that the GAA's refusal to host the game would contradict the terms and conditions of a European Commission decision to allow the Government to award a €30m grant to Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s redevelopment.

Barrister and former All-Ireland winner Joe Brolly believes that the GAA can allow the game to take place in Páirc Uí Chaoimh under Rule 5.1 of their own rulebook.

Cork developer and chair of the organising committee, Michael O'Flynn, has confirmed that the crunch talks will now take place tomorrow, adding that "no further details are available at this time".

It was reported in today's Irish Independent that the GAA will offer a a hurling or Gaelic football-themed fundraiser at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in a bid to resolve the controversy.

7,000 tickets for the match sold out in 60 seconds last Friday and the 45,000 capacity of Páirc Uí Chaoimh would generate a huge extra amount of money and also satisfy public demand to see the game.

A report on Saturday night suggested the GAA had performed a U-turn with some websites and media outlets publishing stories based on that one source.

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And while O'Flynn confirmed those reports were false, he holds optimism ahead of the talks tomorrow.

"They're not even rumours, I don't understand where they have come from because that is not the situation," said Michael O'Flynn, speaking on Cork's 96FM yesterday.

"All that has happened is that the GAA have come out yesterday afternoon with a suggestion of a meeting which I have welcomed.

"I welcome the idea of sitting down with them and discussing the chance of maybe holding the event in Páirc Uí Chaoimh

"But that's it, it's only a meeting. The social media comments were completely and utterly wrong."

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