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National Stadium now done,

Croker opens for soccer and rugby

Irish national soccer and rugby teams could soon be playing in front of Hill 16

Saturday, April 16 2005 5:40
The motion to let the GAA’s Central Council decide on the opening up of Croke Park to other sports has been carried by 227 to 97 vote.

The GAA can now allow soccer and rugby to be played in Croke Park under certain circumstances.

The motion voted on, which had been put forward by Sligo, asked that Central Council be given the power to allow Croke Park to be used for other sports while Lansdowne Road is being redeveloped.

The debate that followed the secret ballot was emotional, touching on ideology, identity and ethos.

The Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O’Donoghue commended the GAA for their decision, calling it a hugely significant gesture which will benefit all Irish sporting fans.

He said: “Croke Park is a towering example of what can be achieved in terms of sporting infrastructure and a huge testament to the vision, foresight and resourcefulness of the GAA.”

And he attempted to allay the fear that the playing of non-GAA sports in Croke Park would give soccer and rugby an advantage: “I am confident that its temporary use for soccer and rugby will cement the public’s respect for our largest sporting organisation and place Gaelic games on an even stronger footing – both at home and internationally.”

So that leaves us with 4 done, 2 late but under construction and 7 either not started or as far away as ever

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