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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 December, 2004, 14:35 GMT
GAA boss issues Rule 42 warning
GAA president Sean Kelly
Sean Kelly says deleting Rule 42 would not harm the GAA
GAA president Sean Kelly has said that a refusal to open Croke Park to international soccer and rugby would cause "huge damage" to the association.

"If the Irish teams play abroad and we then go to the government looking for money, what do you think the reaction will be," Kelly told the Irish News.

Kelly has made little secret of his personal view that the controversial Rule 42 should be deleted.

But his latest intervention is sure to lead to further debate within the GAA.

The Kerryman said the GAA would be entitled to further grant aid from the Irish Government if Croke Park is made available to the IRFU and FAI.

"These matches are worth 13 or 14 million Euro to the economy. It would be a loss if they're played elsewhere."

Kelly insisted that making the historic change would not damage the GAA's ability to attract players.

"It won't make the association a hugely wealthy association nor will it break it either, as some people are predicting.

"These people said the same thing when 'the ban' (on playing foreign games) went. What happened? It petered out and the GAA got stronger.

"The same in relation to Rule 21. We are a better better organisation as a result of getting rid of those two bans."

The Rule 42 debate is certain to dominate next year's Annual Congress.

Several counties have already submitted motions calling for the removal of the controversial rule.

Meanwhile, former Kilkenny hurling manager Nicky Brennan will contest for election for president of the GAA next April.

Munster Council chairman Christy Cooney has also been nominated for the post.

Hurling revamp details revealed
08 Dec 04 |  Gaelic Games

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