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Damien Duff: 'It's the same old dinosaurs in the GAA making the same old decisions'

Damien Duff is disgusted by the GAA’s resolute stance over the movement of the Liam Miller charity match to Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

DAMIEN DUFF SAYS he is disgusted by the GAA’s unwillingness to open the doors to Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the Liam Miller charity match on 25 September.

The fixture will raise funds for Miller’s wife, Clare, and their three children after the former Celtic, Manchester United and Cork City midfielder passed away from cancer in February at the age of 36.

Scheduled for Turners Cross as things stand, all 7,000-plus tickets for the Man United legends vs Ireland/Celtic XI clash sold out within a minute of their release on Thursday, leading to further calls for the game to be switched to the 45,000-capacity Páirc.

The GAA reiterated on Friday that it is “prohibited in rule from hosting games other than those under the control of the Association in its stadia and grounds,” and also confirmed that it had sought legal advice pertaining to the public funding of Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the effect this funding might have on its implementation of Rule 42 at the home of Cork GAA.

Things might change today when match organiser Michael O’Flynn meets with GAA president John Horan and Árd Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan to discuss the matter, but even if the GAA relent and offer the use of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Miller’s former Ireland team-mate Duff believes the damage has already been done to the association’s reputation.

“Listen, even if they open the doors now and the game is played there (Páirc Uí Chaoimh), I still think they come out of it looking awful,” he told Off The Ball AM. “So it’s a lose-lose for them now, and it serves them right. It makes my blood boil. I can only imagine how everyone on the committee feels about it as well. An absolute disgrace, but [I'm] not really surprised.”

“I think it’s Gaelic people, and whoever makes the decisions, saying that it’s rule books and that they don’t have their AGMs until next February – it’s a load of crap,” added Duff.

It’s just dinosaurs making decisions. A young man has passed away who has left a young family behind, and all they are looking to do is play a game that will bring people together, firstly. A lovely occasion and will help Liam Miller’s family.

“I just find it disgraceful that they cannot open the gates of their stadium for one day. I think – I don’t know, I don’t read media or whatever – I’d like to think that is everyone’s feeling on it. But I find it a disgrace, and it is the same old dinosaurs in the GAA making the same old decisions.”

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Liam Miller tribute organisers to meet with GAA president over use of Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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