Former Ulster chairman Michael Greenan has claimed the GAA are ‘prostituting themselves’ to the IRFU by considering opening up Gaelic grounds to rugby as part of the Union’s bid for the 2023 rugby world cup.
Greenan is quoted in the Irish Examiner as saying that his prediction that the 2005 leasing of Croke Park for rugby and soccer was the start of a longer term decision to open Gaelic grounds to foreign sports.
“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?”
The Cavan man believes that the GAA will continue to facilitate foreign sports in Gaelic ground over the coming years.
“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.”
“With all due respects, we have too much to be concerned about in our own games than promoting other ones… Rugby is the leading sport in Ireland and it’s there partly because we have helped to promote it.”