I see Chris' post has begun an interesting debate on Rule 42 and the possible deletion of it. This is set to be the defining issue of the year in GAA circles. As a member of the GAA I am opposed to any change in the status of Rule 42.
My reasons for this stance are not in any way political, I am merely looking at the best interests of the association. Firstly people rant about the injustice of the Irish soccer team having to travel out of ireland to play their mtaches, but if the FAi are so worried about this why haven't they written a politely worded letter to the GAA apoligised for their shambolic nature and asking the GAA to kindly allow them use of the GAA's excellent stadium. It strikes me as amazingly arrogant on the FAI's part that they are quite happy to allow the media to do their arguing for them. In addition to this I am gravely concerned at the impact a dilution of this rule will have on the GAA. My primary fear is that the GAA will become second class citizens in their own home. For example if a soccer match is scheduled for a Staurday in Septembr and an All Ireland semi final is drawn, Croke Park may be booked up for the following Saturday meaning the GAA could be deprived of their own facilities. Also, the Croke park residents group has expressed its concern at the amount of games played in Croke Park already, they are particularly concerned at games on Saturdays, the most popular day for Rugby and Soccer. If limitations on the amount of games are imposed, I am again fearful that it will the GAA's games that will suffer.
The FAI seem to think they have some divine right to the GAA's facilities. Somebody should ask them why in their 80 years of exsistence they haven't had the ability to build something even a quarter as majestic as Croke Park. I genuinely feel sorry for the followers of these codes, but as a GAA man I will be putting the future of my own sport first.