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'Ministers saw fit to give us a bashing' - GAA President hits out at 'government spokespeople' over Liam Miller match

John Horan said those comments were “unhelpful”.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

GAA PRESIDENT JOHN Horan has hit out at “government spokespeople” who spoke about the Liam Miller tribute match.

Today the GAA and organisers of the match announced it will be played at Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The decision comes after over a week of wrangling over the game, which will benefit the family of former Republic of Ireland international Miller, who passed away earlier this year aged just 36 following a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

Sports Minister Shane Ross said he would “love” to see the game played at Cork GAA’s home ground, which received €30 million for its redevelopment in recent years.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also commented that the stadium “is there with the help of €30 million of taxpayers money, and those are taxpayers who play all forms of sport and none”.

However, speaking to RTÉ’s Marty Morrissey today, Horan said those comments were “unhelpful”.

“The intervention of some government spokespersons in relation to the funding of the GAA as an organisation was not in anyway helpful.

“That is a debate that the GAA and the government need to have in relation to funding. People have to appreciate the contribution that the GAA makes to this country, to its fabric and the amount of voluntary work and genuine, GAA-raised money that goes into providing facilities in this community.

“We will be sitting down with the government and we need an honest and a frank discussion on this issue.”

Horan said he had spoken privately with a “senior government minister” who did not get involved, but “other ministers did see fit to give us a bit of a bashing”.

Miller, who represented Ireland from U15 to Senior level, left behind his wife, Clare, and three young children.

To raise funds for his family and Marymount Hospice, where he passed away, a glamour friendly between a Celtic/Ireland legends XI and a Manchester United legends XI was announced for 25 September.

The game will now take place at Pairc Uí Chaoimh on 25 September.

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