LIMERICK GAA chiefs have voted to open the gates of the Gaelic Grounds to international rugby.
But they have also hit out at “some local secondary schools” for hindering the role of the GAA within their establishments.
Last weekend, Limerick GAA sent 11 delegates to the association’s Annual Congress in Derry.
At that meeting 93% of delegates voted in favour of a motion to give Central Council the power to authorise the use of Croke Park and other GAA stadiums for the IRFU’s Rugby World Cup bid in Ireland in either 2023 or 2027.
All 11 Limerick delegates voted in favour of the motion that could see the Gaelic Grounds playing host to international rugby fixtures.
However during the debate, Limerick GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan raised a “point of information”.
O’Riordan told the national gathering of over 300 delegates that concerns had been raised at a Limerick County Board meeting about secondary schools in Limerick stopping teenagers from playing GAA when involved with school rugby and soccer teams.
However, O’Riordan told LeaderSport this Wednesday that there were “no tensions” between the local GAA and “other codes”.
“It was an issue that was brought up at a County Board meeting and we were asked to raise it at Congress and that is what I did,” explained O’Riordan.
He added: “We were simply outlining a concern that was raised”.
“I raised the concern but after that we were fully supportive of the motion to allow the IRFU the use of the Gaelic Grounds if needed for their World Cup bid,” explained the Limerick GAA secretary.
“We have showed in the past that big sporting events can be successfully staged at the Gaelic Grounds. We had the international rules Test between Ireland and Australia at the venue in recent times. Every club in the county benefitted from making Croke Park available to the IRFU and FAI. The move generated very positive PR for our Association,” said O’Riordan.
Another of the motion’s passed at Congress rubber-stamped a change to the compilation of the officials of County Bord na nOg and the County Football Committee.
Effectively, the change means that there will no longer be officer elections for both of these committees.
Instead the management committee of Limerick GAA will be empowered to ‘appoint’ the officers.
Meanwhile, Limerick GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan has confirmed that Limerick have made an application to Croke Park to host the 2014 GAA Congress.
Limerick is the national City of Culture next year and O’Riordan is hoping that the GAA can play their part by staging the meeting that would bring delegates from all counties and international bodies to Limerick for a weekend.