Former Cork footballer Daniel Goulding says it's disappointing that a tribute match for Liam Miller will not be held in Páric Uí Chaoimh.
On September 25th, an XI of Manchester United legends featuring names like Nicky Butt, Ronny Johnsen, Paul Scholes, Denis Irwin, Jaap Stam, David May, Louis Saha and Rio Ferdinand will face an Ireland and Celtic selection managed by Martin O'Neill. The game, which takes place at Turner's Cross, will raise funds for Miller's family along with the Marymount Hospice.
Miller tragically died earlier this year due to pancreatic cancer. The former Celtic, Manchester United, Cork City and Ireland midfielder was just days short of his 37th birthday.
Michael O’Flynn, who is chairman of the match organising committee, told the Irish Examiner that efforts had been made to hold the game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Its larger capacity - 45,000 versus the 7,000 of Turner's Cross - made it especially attractive.
GAA red tape stood in the way. The Cork County Board was open to hosting to game at the home of Cork GAA. However, a vote from Congress would have been required to allow the game to be played at the shiny new ground.
According to GAA rule 5.1 (b), 'Grounds controlled by Association units shall not be used or permitted to be used for Field Games others than those sanctioned by Central Council.'
"It's disappointing alright, in fairness," 2010 All-Ireland winner Goulding told Balls at and Electric Ireland event on Thursday.
Goulding is not simply a Cork man like Miller. Just as the 32-year-old calls the Éire Óg club in Ovens outside the city his home, so did Miller.
He believes the event should not be viewed as a soccer match but instead as a charity event.
It's a great event to raise funds for the family. Not to be able to have it in as big a venue as possible in Cork is disappointing. The demand for it is going to be absolutely huge. The tickets are probably going to sell out in five minutes.
In fairness, the county board said they tried to facilitate it but the rules from Croke Park just said no.
It's a soccer game, if that's the issue... Look, really, it's a charity event. I suppose that's the sad thing. It's a very important charity event as well.
That's the rule that they're using. It's disappointing - I'm sure they'll get a huge crowd at Cork City but you'd like to have see 40,000 there.
It would have been great for the country if it could have been on there given the talent he was and such a good player and the impact he had for Ireland.
If he gets a ticket - they go on sale tomorrow - Goulding will be there to remember a man those from the Éire Óg club say was an outstanding Gaelic footballer.
"It's funny, I would only have seen Liam once or twice in my time. Sure he was always abroad, be it at Celtic, Manchester United, Australia. So, I wouldn't have seen him that much. I would have seen him play with Cork City a few times when he was back playing in the League of Ireland.
"He didn't play GAA since he was 15 or 16. He wouldn't have been around our set-up but by all accounts, he was a fabulous GAA player when he was with Éire Óg. All the lads his age thought he was exceptional.
"It's amazing what he achieved coming from a small little place - I wouldn't even call it a village, a parish.
"He was a very unassuming guy, a quiet guy who just got about his business. He worked really hard and made the best of himself. It's very sad. It's nice to celebrate this for him."
All-Star winning Cork footballer, Daniel Goulding has teamed up with Electric Ireland as part of its GAA ‘This is Major’ campaign, to offer one lucky GAA team the chance to win an exclusive training session. Head to facebook.com/ElectricIreland to enter.
Goulding is serving on a four-man awards selection panel throughout the Championship season, alongside fellow GAA legends, Michael Fennelly, Ollie Canning and Sean Cavanagh. The panel continue to select Player of the Week nominations each week, which are put to public vote on the Electric Ireland Facebook page and at the end of the season the panel will be choosing the Hurling and Football Teams of the Year at the 2018 Electric Ireland Minor Star Awards.