Controversial 9ft Croker fence is almost ready for Sunday
The controversial new fence in Croke Park was near completion yesterday, ahead of Sunday's All-Ireland football semi final.
The nine-foot-high (2.8m) barricade will be in place at the Hill 16 end for the weekend's eagerly awaited crunch game between Down and Kildare.
The barriers have brought criticism from fans who claim it will hinder the view from 'the Hill'.
Workers were yesterday busy putting together the elaborate system, which appears to be half perspex and half steel mesh. The GAA has declined to give out specific information about the new fence but says that it will incorporate an opening mechanism that can be used if necessary.
"When it is complete, the journalists will be fully briefed and Sunday is the time that it will be ready, so Sunday is the time," a GAA spokesman said.
Thousands of Gaelic football fans are expected to travel to Croke Park from four counties on Sunday, for the minor championship semi-final between Galway and Cork as well as the senior football game.
But the fence is being criticised as a step backwards by some fans of the sport. Joe Nugent, the secretary of the Dublin Supporters Club, said they are absolutely opposed to the new system. "We think it is retrograde step in stadium safety," he said.
"It is very important for safety reasons that people should be told how the fencing arrangement should work and provide people with assurances that it will be designed properly."
However, high profile GAA figures -- including Dublin manager Pat Gilroy -- have backed the fence.