17 January 2006

Dublin chamber welcomes Croke Park deal

RTÉ

17 January 2006 17:59

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The Dublin Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the deal reached between the GAA, IRFU and FAI today that will see rugby and soccer internationals being played at Croke Park in 2007.

The chamber says the deal will support jobs in Dublin.

The DCC Chief Executive, Gina Quin, said the capital's economy could have lost more than €90 million over the next two years if soccer and rugby home internationals were switched overseas.
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Ms Quin said studies had shown the three soccer and two rugby internationals which will take place in 2007 will each contribute up to €30m to the Dublin economy.

The deal between the GAA, the IRFU and the FAI, was announced in a joint statement this afternoon.

It has been confirmed that Lansdowne Road will not be available in 2007 because of redevelopment.

It is expected that at least two rugby internationals scheduled for February 2007 and three soccer fixtures in March, October and November 2007 will be played in Croke Park.

GAA, IRFU, FAI to review deal in 2007

The three organisations have not discussed the situation after 2007, which is to be reviewed in the context of the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road.

The agreement comes weeks before the FAI and IRFU are required to confirm their international home fixture venues with their respective international boards.

Seán Kelly, President of the GAA, has welcomed the deal, saying it was practical and necessary to ensure that Irish sport and Irish sports followers did not have to travel abroad.

Mr Kelly added that the deal means the Irish economy will still benefit from rugby and soccer internationals while Lansdowne Road is being redeveloped.

The Chief Executive of the FAI, John Delaney, described today's agreement as a historic day for soccer and for sport in Ireland.

Mr Delaney added that the prospect of an Irish international soccer team playing in Croke Park would appeal to everyone with an interest in sport.

Philip Browne, Chief Executive of the IRFU, said the agreement was a significant milestone in Irish sporting history, and said the entire rugby community would look forward to what he said would be magnificent sporting occasions at Croke Park.

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