The Irish Rugby Football Union Wants To Bid On The 2023 or 2027 Rugby World Cup
GAA President Liam O'Neill is confident the organization's members will be behind the Central Council's decision "to make six of the grounds available for a Rugby World Cup bid by the Irish Rugby Football Union," according to John Fogarty of the IRISH EXAMINER. The Central Council "agreed unanimously to draft a motion seeking to amend rule five of the Gaelic Athletic Association Official Guide so as to make available six GAA stadiums" to the IRFU for a feasibility study into making a bid for the '23 or '27 competitions. The proposal will be voted on at Congress in Derry next March. With a '23 bid deadline in the third quarter of '13, the IRFU has "sought access to Croke Park, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Fitzgerald Stadium, the Gaelic Grounds, Pearse Stadium and Casement Park" as part of their prospective submission. O'Neill said, "The position the country is in at the moment and the possibility that we could host one of the major events in world sports on this island is something that people have to look at and beyond their own personal interests and misgivings" (IRISH EXAMINER, 8/20). In Dublin, Sean Moran reported that "if the motion passes the IRFU, who floated the proposal earlier this year, [the IRFU] can proceed with formulating a bid by the deadline of this time next year." This would also be contingent on substantial government funding. Croke Park would be needed for the final, as a venue with a capacity of at least 60,000 is required whereas a number of other provincial venues would also be required in order for the IRFU "to propose sufficient locations to sustain their bid." A statement from the IRFU over the weekend, said: "The IRFU fully understands and respects this process and looks forward to the GAA's response in due course, while also acknowledging that any bid would be heavily dependent on support from the Government and the GAA." IRFU CEO Philip Browne added: "The rugby World Cup in New Zealand showed what a country of four million people could achieve in terms of attracting visitors and showcasing the potential of a country, so an overall Ireland bid is something that the government was keen to discuss with us" (IRISH TIMES, 8/20).