Soccer in Nowlan Park? Congress vote paves way for county grounds to be used for non-GAA games
THE way has been cleared for Nowlan Park to be used for games other than hurling and football. The decision to open it, or any other county ground, will now rest with the GAA’s central council.
The move was taken at the GAA’s annual congress, in Wexford, where delegates voted overwhelmingly to lift the ban on allowing county grounds to be used for non GAA sports.
Up to now, only Croke Park could be used for non-GAA games. A major controversy arose last year when an application to play the Liam Miller tribute soccer game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh was initially turned down. The GAA came under enormous public and political pressure to allow the fund-raiser go ahead at the recently-developed stadium and eventually relented, despite it being effectively against its own rules.
The new rule change applies only to county grounds.
Among other motions being debated at congress is one looking for the All-Ireland finals to be moved back to their former dates on the first and third Sundays in September because of the pressure the earlier August dates put on club fixture schedules.