GAA to consider allowing grounds be used for rugby World Cup
NEWS ROUND-UP:THE GAA will consider making available six grounds to facilitate Ireland’s rugby World Cup bid.
The weekend’s Central Council meeting viewed a presentation proposing that a motion go to next year’s annual congress to amend Rule 5.1, governing the use of association property in order to allow venues to be used for the tournament in 2023 or 2027.
If the motion passes the IRFU, who floated the proposal earlier this year, can proceed with formulating a bid by the deadline of this time next year. This would also be contingent on substantial government funding.
Croke Park would be needed for the final, as a venue with a capacity of at least 60,000 is required whereas a number of other provincial venues would also be required in order for the IRFU to propose sufficient locations to sustain their bid.
The other grounds suggested at the weekend’s meeting include three Munster venues – the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick, Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney and Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which is due to be refurbished – as well as Pearse Stadium in Galway City and Casement Park in Belfast, which is also due to be redeveloped.
During the rebuilding of Lansdowne Road between 2007 and 2010, Croke Park was made available for rugby and soccer internationals but that dispensation applied only to the headquarters venue and not any of the GAA’s other venues.
A statement from the IRFU at the weekend, said: “The IRFU fully understands and respects this process and looks forward to the GAA’s response in due course, while also acknowledging that any bid would be heavily dependent on support from the Government and the GAA.”
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne added: “The rugby World Cup in New Zealand showed what a country of four million people could achieve in terms of attracting visitors and showcasing the potential of a country, so an overall Ireland bid is something that the government was keen to discuss with us.”