Sunday 23 November 2014

No panic as tickets still available for replay of GAA's great football semi

Published 30/08/2014 | 02:30

Paddy Prendergast, who played for Mayo in the 1940s but lives in Tralee, and his friend Paddy Joyce get ready for the match
Paddy Prendergast, who played for Mayo in the 1940s but lives in Tralee, and his friend Paddy Joyce get ready for the match
Groundsman Nick Grene cuts the grass ahead of the replay between Kerry and Mayo at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
Graham Clifford pictured with his dad and son on the family farm in Glenbeigh, County Kerry

Tickets for the big match are still available so it seems the biggest headache now facing Kerry and Mayo fans is getting to the venue on time.

After all the uproar over the 45,000 capacity of Limerick's Gaelic Grounds officials said last night that there was still some standing room.

Maor uisce of the Kerry team and manager of the GAA store in the Killarney Outlet Centre, Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan said there was a great "buzz around the place" ahead of the reply.

"We've probably got about 50 or 60 terrace tickets left but I'd say they'll be gone in the morning.

"The big worry now is the traffic and the parade in Limerick. There are also roadworks in Templeglantine and Adare is always a bottleneck so people will be leaving early," he added.

Rush

It was a similar story in Mayo where there was a rush for stand tickets when extra became available on Thursday.

One man who will definitely be there is Kerry resident and Mayo hero Paddy Prendergast (88). He is one of only three survivors of the last Mayo team to lift the Sam Maguire in 1951.

"We need it more," said the former Mayo fullback.

"It's been a terrible few years for us and we've got a great team so it would be a pity to walk away with nothing and unthinkable that the same thing would happen and we'd lose another All-Ireland final."

But the Mayo hero knows too much about football to be complacent about meeting a Kerry side.

"Playing Kerry you'd be stupid to be too positive about it," he said.

The Ballintubber native moved to Kerry in the early 1960s and never went home again. He dismisses any talk of the curse that was supposedly put on Mayo by a Foxford priest on their triumphant return in 1951 that they'd never win another All-Ireland while any member of the team was alive.

He said if that were the case, in Mayo they'd be praying for him to die while Kerry would be keeping him alive for as long as possible.

Gardai have put traffic restrictions in place to cope with the crowds and are urging fans to arrive in plenty of time. Bus Eireann is providing a service from Lr Henry Street to the grounds and park and ride services will be operating from the Woodlands Hotel in Adare, the Radisson Hotel and Kilmurray Lodge Hotel.

Traffic approaching from Mayo can avail of park and ride facilities at the West County Hotel in Ennis and at Dirty Nelly's pub in Bunratty.

Irish Independent

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