Wednesday 7 December 2016

Sligo meeting to discuss shock Hyde Park decision

Declan Rooney

Published 25/06/2015 | 02:30

Sligo's Kevin McDonnell celebrates with supporters after the team's shock Connacht SFC semi-final victory over Roscommon, at Markievicz Park, Sligo on Saturday night
Sligo's Kevin McDonnell celebrates with supporters after the team's shock Connacht SFC semi-final victory over Roscommon, at Markievicz Park, Sligo on Saturday night

Sligo GAA officials were last night remaining tight-lipped about the Connacht Council's decision to schedule the provincial finals for Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon on July 19.

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But a senior source in the county said they were shocked by the decision as they expected the game to go ahead in Pearse Stadium in Salthill. The source said they would not comment until officials in the county met to discuss the decision.

Sligo understood it was their turn to decide where a Connacht final involving them took place.

Their own ground at Markievicz Park is not suitable and that left just Pearse Stadium and MacHale Park as the alternatives.

Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon has not been used for a provincial decider since 2012 - when Sligo and Mayo last met in the final - after the Slattery Report reduced the capacity of the ground to 18,750.

The Sligo County Board executive decided to request the game go ahead at Pearse Stadium at a meeting on Monday night. However, in a shock decision, the Connacht GAA competition control committee yesterday elected to host the game at Dr Hyde Park.

Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon has not been used for a provincial decider since 2012 after the Slattery Report reduced the capacity of the ground to 18,750
Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon has not been used for a provincial decider since 2012 after the Slattery Report reduced the capacity of the ground to 18,750

A spokesperson said that work carried out there since the last Connacht final has increased capacity to over 20,000.

In 2013, the Connacht Council decided not to host the London versus Mayo final at the Roscommon venue because of its diminished capacity capabilities, but according to the council, a special event management plan will increase the capacity to greater than 20,000.

"The following areas were considered in making the decision on the venue: geographical location of counties; expected attendance; capacities of grounds in the province The Council has put an Event Management Plan in place which will give a capacity of > 20,000 for the Stadium.

"This will accommodate the expected attendance," said the council's statement.

Irish Independent

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