Organisers of Liam Miller memorial match to meet GAA chiefs over venue

Organisers of the Liam Miller memorial match say they are hopeful of reaching an agreement with the GAA for the game to take place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The GAA’s president and director general announced on Saturday they would meet organisers of the soccer match in memory of the former Republic of Ireland player Liam Miller.

The former Manchester United, Celtic and Cork City midfielder, died of cancer in February aged 36.

A charity match between a Manchester United legends team and a combined Celtic/Ireland side has been organised for September 25.

Liam Miller (right) in action for Celtic (Maurice McDonald/PA)

The match is now scheduled for Turner’s Cross soccer stadium, which has a capacity of 7,500, after the GAA’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh refused permission to use the park, a venue for gaelic sports and the home of Cork GAA.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s 45,000 capacity could have increased the funds raised for the family and charitable causes by an estimated two million euro.

Rumours over the weekend suggested the game would go ahead at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, however Michael Flynn, one of the key organisers of the event, told Cork’s 96 FM that no agreement has been made, and no meeting had taken place.

“I do indeed welcome the opportunity to sit down with them to discuss the chance of maybe holding the event at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“But that’s it. It’s only a meeting.

“Those social media comments were completely and utterly wrong,” Mr Flynn said.

In a post on Saturday, the GAA’s official Twitter feed read: “The GAA President and Ard Stiurthoir (director general), along with representatives of the Cork Committee, are to seek a meeting with the organising committee of the Liam Miller Tribute Match to discuss issues around the game.”

It is hoped the meeting will take place early this week.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh has also been used for gigs, such as one by Oasis (PA)

Politicians like Micheal Martin and GAA players both past and present, have strongly criticised the association’s stance, with the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) also calling on it to re-consider.

“We feel that the decision being taken here doesn’t align with our values as sportspeople and needs to be revisited,” it said.

The association’s ban on non-GAA games being played in its grounds was relaxed in 2007 to allow both football and rugby to be played in Páirc Uí Chaoimh while Lansdowne Road stadium was redeveloped.

The park has also been used for other purposes such as concerts, with musician Ed Sheeran playing in Páirc Uí Chaoimh in May.

- Press Association

Most Read in Ireland