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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 April, 2005, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Tight Croke Park vote in prospect
Croke Park
The Croke Park vote will dominate this month's GAA Congress
Hopes that Croke Park could be opened to other sports have risen despite Monaghan's decision to vote against change on the Rule 42 issue.

Those favouring change have been boosted by unexpected backing from Tipperary and Waterford.

Of the Ulster counties, Antrim and Fermanagh will definitely vote against change while Derry, Tyrone and Armagh are also expected to follow suit.

Donegal and Cavan support change while a tight vote is expected in Down.

The Monaghan county hierarchy voted 29-18 against opening up the Dublin stadium even on a temporary basis in a vote on Monday.

Both Tipperary and Monaghan voted against change during the exceptionally tight vote in 2001 when the attempt to delete Rule 42 was defeated by only one vote.

And if Limerick as expected support change, that will leave Cork as the only Munster county favouring the status quo.

Seven Leinster counties will definitely vote for change and the other five counties in the eastern province are also expected to adopt a similar stance.

Of the Connacht counties, only Mayo are expected to vote against change.

The overall amount of votes at Congress will be 335 which will leave 224 as the figure needed to endorse change given the two-thirds requirement.

That will mean that the overseas votes could ultimately decider the issue.

With many overseas units using facilities owned by other sporting organisations, that gives the proponents of change optimism that the historic change could indeed happen at Congress.

Congress votes on the matter on April 16, with a two-thirds majority needed to pass a motion.

Seven counties have submitted motions on the Rule 42 issue although it seems certain that only one will be debated at Congress.

Meath and Donegal eye rule change
05 Apr 05 |  Gaelic Games
Counties to pool Rule 42 efforts
10 Mar 05 |  Gaelic Games
Temporary motions the best chance
17 Feb 05 |  Gaelic Games
Congress to debate Rule 42
16 Feb 05 |  Gaelic Games
Rule 42 motions make deadline
10 Feb 05 |  Gaelic Games

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