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Seán Kelly Believes Liam Miller Charity Game Can Enable Serious Change

Seán Kelly Believes Liam Miller Charity Game Can Enable Serious Change
By Arthur James O'Dea Updated

It would appear that at this point the GAA are likely to open the gates of Páirc Uí Chaoimh to a charity event in honour of Cork's Liam Miller. Having initially offered a stern refusal, an overwhelmingly negative public response has given the Association apparent cause for reconsideration.

With talks ongoing, former GAA President Seán Kelly is adamant that the charity event goes ahead where it is likely to garner as large an audience as possible. As "an exclusively Cork event," Páirc Uí Chaoimh is the only natural home Kelly can envision.

Speaking to Balls, Kelly reasserted a detail that appeared lost on the GAA initially; "The game itself is only secondary to the cause, and I think it should be looked at in that light."

Tellingly, the GAA President who played such a pivotal role in the relaxation of the Association's Rule 42 believes that "whatever tweaking of the rules are necessary" to ensure this event goes ahead in Cork's largest stadium, should be tweaked accordingly.

 

A figure familiar with resistance from within the organisation he presided over between 2003-06, Kelly's fight for a change to the GAA's ruling on the admission of 'foreign' games into Croke Park brought him into contact with the 'top echelons in Croke Park', where change was hardly a desired outcome.

Regarding the current figures in the upper strata, Kelly believes the GAA's initial resistance may have been rooted in a pervading fear that "if we give in on this," what next?

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As they appear to reassess their take on this event for former footballer Liam Miller, Kelly believes that although it should have been dealt with better from the outset, a satisfactory conclusion should alleviate any fears the Association has of being open to further - perhaps less worthy - causes.

Furthermore, Seán Kelly believes that the experience of this incident is likely to encourage positive change within the GAA going forward:

I think, once we get over this now, the GAA will look at it and say, 'what rules do we need to change, if any?' They should have a good discussion on it, consult the membership, and then everyone will know where they stand.

As the GAA and organisers of the charity event continue to discuss the issue at hand, Kelly is of the opinion that an initially regrettable move on the GAA's behalf could lead to significant, positive change.

See Also: Opinion: Duff Is Wrong, The GAA Are No Dinosaurs


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