Safety first for GAA spectators
Seated in the Hogan Stand to watch Dublin play Cork, an Irish Independent reader was admiring the colourful scene that was Hill 16, when it occurred to him. . . should the aisles not be clear?
Hill 16 appeared to him to be full, perhaps even above capacity. If all the aisles are full, he thought, does that mean that the GAA has allowed too many people on to the Hill, sold too many tickets? The reader was expressing niggling fears, shared by many, that the new barriers being erected in Croke Park to prevent pitch invasions could themselves present a threat to safety in the event of a crush.
People who remember Dublin's great clashes with Kerry, Galway and Meath in the 1970s know how fortunate the GAA was to avoid tragedy on more than one occasion when the great metal gates at the Canal End would collapse under the sheer weight of humanity and thousands would pour on to the already overcrowded terraces.