Wednesday 26 October 2016

The GAA's six million dollar men as 164,000 pack Croker

Published 06/09/2015 | 02:30

Joe Canning
Joe Canning

When the final whistle blows after today's eagerly awaited All-Ireland hurling final between Kilkenny and Galway, GAA officials will be sitting on a cash pile of nearly €6m after the most lucrative weekend in the Association's history.

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After last night's sell-out semi-final football replay between Dublin and Mayo, another 82,000 fans will pack into Croke park for, arguably, the blue riband of Irish sport.

And as well as swelling the GAA coffers, the bookies are also gearing up for a bumper weekend.

Paddy Power expect over €7m will be wagered by keen punters across the Irish betting industry.

The bookie estimates that Irish punters wagered close to €3.3 million on last night's clash between Dublin and Mayo while a further €3.7 million is expected to be placed on Galway versus Kilkenny as they tussle for the McCarthy Cup.

Kilkenny are 8/15 to retain the All-Ireland title while Galway are 2/1 to win only their fifth hurling All-Ireland

Today's match will be shown at Electric Picnic in 'An Puball Gaeilge' - the Irish language tent at the festival, in association with Glór na nGael.

In Galway a giant screen has also been erected in Eyre Square to screen the action from Croke Park.

Up to 20,000 supporters are expected to gather in Pearse Stadium on Monday for the homecoming of the Galway minor and senior hurling teams.

GAA officials expect the teams - win or lose - to arrive by bus in Salthill at 6pm for a "family atmosphere" evening of entertainment.

Kilkenny's senior hurlers will be given a civic reception on Monday as they return home.

Things will kick-off at 4pm, with a replay of the game relayed on the big screen.

There will be live entertainment afterwards, while the team will then arrive on stage around 6.15pm.

Sunday Independent

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