The GAA have finally come around to offering Páirc Ui Chaoimh as the venue for September's tribute match to Liam Miller. After a saga stretching to nearly a fortnight, a special sitting of Central Council this morning approved the newly-developed Cork venue for the game. In a joint statement between the game's organising committee and the GAA, it was confirmed that the game would go ahead at Páirc Ui Chaoimh and that it would be preceded by a GAA event.
The GAA and the Organising Committee of the Liam Miller Tribute Match can confirm that following meetings of the GAA’s Management Committee and Central Council, the event will take place at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Tuesday September 25th.
In agreement with the Committee the day will also include a GAA event in advance of the Tribute Match. The details will be finalised in the coming weeks.
Further information relating to arrangements and ticketing for the game - including those purchased already for Turner’s Cross - will be finalised at a meeting of the Committee and Cork GAA on Monday and made public shortly afterwards.
The GAA would like to wish the family of Liam Miller and the organisers every success in their efforts.
The Committee of the Liam Miller Tribute Match would like to thank the GAA for their support with this event.
GAA president John Horan was speaking to RTE Radio One after the announcement, and revealed the GAA turned down the offer of a charitable donation from the game's committee.
Horan revealed that some members of Central Council expressed some reservations about Páirc Ui Chaoimh hosting the match, and blamed social media for creating a "frenzy" around the entire farrago.
There were some people who expressed concern over this decision and that was taken on board by the room and everybody got a fair and open chance to express those views but in the end the conclusive decision was that we would open Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
There will be a GAA element to the actual event but that is for discussion between the organising committee and Cork county committee.
There will be other beneficiaries but this will have nothing to do with the GAA. This event is being organised by a very genuine committee who are looking at some needs within the Cork community. They did make a generous offer to us that they would give a donation towards a GAA charity but we have actually declined that offer and we will look after the charity that was in mind ourselves in Croke Park.
I wouldn't say it was very long [the time taken to come to the decision]. When you think about it, there was an initial enquiry from the organising committee and they were given a negative response at the time but we're all aware from the launch of Wednesday last week that this took on a life of its own.
We sat down with the organising committee last Tuesday with a view to resolving the issue and I think if you look at it, from Tuesday this week to Saturday morning that we got our Management Committee, that were due to meet last night, and we gathered the volunteers that make up our Central Council committee this morning in Croke Park this morning to make the decision. I don't think anyone can say Tuesday to Saturday was a long time.
I think we dealt with our business in a very appropriate manner and with haste but not too much haste.
I think we're in a different era. I think social media and all these other elements that fed into it really turned the whole thing into a frenzy. That's the life we live in at the moment.
Elsewhere, in a television interview with RTE, Horan refused to be drawn on Damien Duff's comments that the GAA's top brass have acted like "dinosaurs" over the situation.