Central Council will now have the power to open up provincial, county and national grounds to non-GAA sports following an overwhelming backing in Congress in Wexford today.
After the Liam Miller charity game controversy last year, the GAA were obliged by their own rules to reconsider the rule in relation to their property rules and 91% of delegates gave their backing to the amendment.
Although Central Council eventually took an interpretation of the existing rule that allowed the game to go ahead in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, they have relaxed it so that Ard Chomhairle have the power, in exceptional circumstances, to make available GAA property held by provinces or counties but not clubs for activities other than those controlled by the Association.
It means the likes of Páirc Uí Chaoimh could now host a Munster European Cup game in the event Thomond Park is not of sufficient capacity if a request is made to the GAA. Speaking after the motion was proposed, former GAA president Seán Kelly said the motion offered clarity and the organisation could now be said to have dealt with the matter.
U20 footballers on senior inter-county panels can now play for their U20 representative teams providing the senior teams have exited the Championship. Counties must now issue their finalised teams for the All-Ireland senior championship to the referee 40 minutes ahead of throw-in. It had been 20 minutes but 66% of delegates supported the proposal.
After another successful vote, All-Ireland SFC qualifiers, All-Ireland SHC preliminary quarter-finals and Joe McDonagh Cup matches will all be “winner on the day” fixtures.
Garnering just 15% support, the Gaelic Players Association failed in their attempt to gain representation on the Central Competitions Control Committee for the organising of inter-county football and hurling games.
USGAA’s Paul Keane said the GPA would have vested interests on the CCCC while Armagh’s Jarlath Burns pointed out the official inter-county players body had enough representation on other GAA committees.
Instead of being dictated by month, the All-Ireland finals will be played on or before the 35th Sunday in the year or the 36th when the first Sunday of the year falls on January 1.
Also this morning, it was agreed that representatives from the Ladies Gaelic Football and Camogie Association will become non-voting members on the GAA’s Management Committee.