Former Ulster chairman Micheál Greenan claims the GAA has prostituted itself by giving consideration to make more stadiums available to another sport.
The Cavan man was reacting to Central Council’s decision to ask Congress to make six grounds available to the IRFU for a potential bid to host the 2023 or 2027 Rugby World Cups.
He also predicts more GAA grounds, right down to the grassroots of the organisation, will be made available to foreign sports.
Greenan was a fervent opponent of Croke Park being made available for international rugby and soccer games in 2005. He believes he has been proven correct in his assessment back then that it was the “thin end of the wedge”.
However, he said he won’t be attempting to convince Congress delegates to vote against the motion in Derry next March.
“No matter what I do now I’m going to be wrong but as it transpired I was right. There’s not much point in me trying to do something about it because the people in charge of the GAA are promoting it. We have prostituted ourselves and the bottom line is when you have prostituted yourself for money, the people who make the money are not the prostitutes but the pimps. We all know how much the GAA got for making Croke Park available but does anyone know how much the soccer or the rugby boys got out of it?
“Even if they did put out a number, would it be a true figure?”
Greenan maintains Congress’s decision seven years ago has created a dangerous precedent.
He believes it is only a matter of time before more GAA pitches are used by rugby and soccer teams.
“It’s not finished here. There’ll be more grounds given up. In a few years time, we’ll be trying to work local GAA fixtures around soccer and rugby fixtures.
“What happened was the thin end of the wedge and it’s only getting off the ground now.
“I protested at the time because the GAA was selling out to rival sports. It wasn’t about the opening of Croke Park — it was about the closing of it.”
He insists the GAA have too many problems with football and hurling to allow another sport stage worldwide games in their grounds.
“With all due respects, we have too much to be concerned about in our own games than promoting other ones.
“In the minor hurling semi-final, a young Galway lad (Paul Killeen) got sent off for basically doing nothing. Yet in the senior game there were melees all over the place and nothing was done about it.
“To enter a melee is a sending off offence but I didn’t see anyone sent off in that game. Rugby is the leading sport in Ireland and it’s there partly because we have helped to promote it.”
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