Croke Park will still be available for international soccer and rugby after the opening of the new Lansdowne Road next year according to GAA President Christy Cooney, but he doubts the stadium will be required by the FAI or the IRFU.

“The Aviva Stadium is contracted to so many matches, so the IRFU and FAI would not be in a position to play any games in Croke Park over the next few years … they have a new stadium and I’m sure they’ll want to maximize its use,’ said Cooney.

“They have the same situation we have in Croke Park with ticket-holders, corporate boxes, etc., and they have a responsibility to their supporters, the same as we have.”

Cooney also revealed that the GAA could get involved in the player disputes with management in Clare and Limerick if they spill over into the New Year.

“If it does threaten the National Leagues in the next period of time, and is not resolved, and there is a need for Páraic Duffy or myself to get involved in finding a solution to the process, we will do that,” said Cooney.

“But if it can be resolved in the counties, we would very much prefer that. One of the priorities that will be there for the GPA and ourselves is to put in place a protocol, a template on how we manage this in future.

“It is a situation that cannot continue and we have to find a way of resolving it. I prefer to have a preventive situation in place rather than a reactive one and that will be the objective.

“It is very regrettable that this is happening in Clare and Limerick, and always -- as in these cases -- no one is perfect.

“But at the end of the day, the county board has the right and responsibility to appoint a manager, and we have to ensure that there is harmony after that manager is appointed and the best support system is in place to support the players.”

Canning Stays

OLLIE Canning is to play on with the Galway hurlers for at least another year after attending a number of pre-season meetings held by manager John McIntyre.

“There have been a few meetings so far, I went along to them and I’ve said that I’ll give it a go if I’m fit enough and the management feel that I have something to offer the set-up. I’ll stay on and give it a lash, for one last time maybe,” said Canning.

“The management team in Galway are very professional and they have a very good set-up. If there was a change of management, maybe you’d have to think about it.

“But I know from last year that they had great people on board so that made the decision to go back easier for me. If I’m required, I’d like to give it a shot if I can.”

Row Continues

A MEETING last weekend failed to resolve the Limerick hurling row between manager Justin McCarthy and those players who have reacted badly to his decision to reshape the county squad.

Some 21 players met with club representatives after eight players quit the Limerick squad in protest at McCarthy’s actions, but further meetings are now planned for this week in an effort to break the impasse.

GAA Shorts

MIKE McNamara has yet to quit as Clare hurling boss despite speculation in the county that he would give in to player pressure and hand the reigns over to former star Ger O’Loughlin . . .

THE Dublin County Board have agreed a massive sponsorship deal with mobile phone giants Vodafone believed to be worth ****1million a year for six years . . .

WICKLOW boss Mick O’Dwyer has confirmed his interest in managing the Ireland team for the next Compromise Rules series against Australia . . .

FORMER Westmeath boss Seamus Qualter has taken charge of the Roscommon hurlers . . .