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Congress rules on Donegal Super 8s motion and use of county grounds for other sports

The motion to stop Dublin using Croke Park as a home venue was defeated in Wexford today.

File photo of Croke Park.
File photo of Croke Park.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

THE DONEGAL MOTION to prevent Dublin from playing two Super 8s games at Croke Park was defeated at Congress this afternoon.

Motion 39 received just 36% of support from delegates in Wexford. It sought to prevent Croke Park from being used as a home venue in inter-county championship fixtures, but was soundly beaten when it went to the floor.

Donegal chairman Mick McGrath said the motion was inspired by a sense of fair play, adding that it was unfair that the Drumcondra venue be deemed a home and neutral venue for a team – without naming Dublin directly.

Opposing the motion, Dublin secretary John Costello highlighted how many supporters would miss out if their Super 8s home game was to take place in Parnell Park.

He said it would be “a public relations disaster” for the GAA if they had to turn away supporters from the county’s championship matches.

“Parnell Park is Dublin’s home ground but unfortunately it has a capacity that’s limited at just over 8,000,” said Costello.

“If this motion is adopted Dublin will nominate Dublin as our home ground. The reason Dublin rents Croke Park is to accommodate our huge fanbase and the fans of other counties. Were Dublin to play matches exclusively at Parnell Park it would mean turning away thousands of both our own supporters and supporters of other counties.”

A number of delegates also mentioned the financial hit of taking a Super 8s game out Croke Park.

Meanwhile, Congress passed the motion to open up county grounds for use from other sports. Motion 19 gives Central Council the power “in exceptional circumstances” to authorise GAA property to be used for “activities other than those controlled by the association.”

A decision to allow another sport take place in a county ground must be in compliance with GAA policy.

Elsewhere, Tyrone chairman Michael Kerr called for the Crowley Report into the killing of Aidan McAnespie to be released to his family.

McAnespie was 23 when he was shot dead at a military checkpoint at the border in Tyrone as was on the way Aghaloo GAA club on 21 February 1988.

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Following his death, the Irish government carried out an inquiry that was presented to justice minister Gerry Collins in April of that year. But the results were never made public or released to the McAnespie family.

“On behalf of Tyrone GAA, I wish to commend Páraic Duffy on his stewardship of our Association. Shortly before he vacated office he called on the Irish Government for the release of the Crowley Report into the killing of Aidan McAnespie in Aughnacloy in 1988,” said Kerr.

“I am aware that the McAnespie family appreciated Páraic’s support and that of the GAA community in Tyrone and across the country.

“Yesterday was the 31st anniversary of the shooting of this member of our Association as he made his way to play a football match for his club, Aghaloo O’Neills, against Killeeshil.

“The Irish Government at the time saw fit to have the shooting investigated by Garda Deputy Commissioner Eugene Crowley. His report was submitted within 7 weeks to the then Justice Minister.

“31 years, generally considered a generation, has passed. It is time to release the Report.

“I endorse Páraic’s request for the report to be released and, while disappointed with the initial response made to the request, I encourage the Irish Government to explore all available editorial mechanisms which will facilitate the early release of the fullest version of the Crowley Report.

“I ask that this forum as the highest within our Association, supports the call to allow the McAnespie family access to the truth about the death of their son and brother and a fellow member of our Association.”

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