Sport Hurling

Saturday 3 December 2016

Fence passes its final test

Keith Barr

Published 10/09/2010 | 05:00

I WAS lucky to be in Croke Park last Sunday for what was a magnificent GAA occasion.

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And I must admit that I thought the after-match celebrations worked well -- even if I remain opposed to the fence on Hill 16.

The absence of the pitch invasion didn't take at all from the atmosphere, and I thought the space given to the players to celebrate was perfect.

However, there are a couple of points worth mentioning. I thought the Kilkenny players were really dignified in saluting their opponents' success by remaining on the pitch, but they should not have had to stay as long as they did, through two speeches.

The presentation process needs to be sped up and I think Christy Cooney should consider a quid pro quo here. Fans do not want to hear a speech from the GAA president, so they should cut it out. Cooney has asked the supporters to stay off the pitch, so he should respect their actions by cutting out his cúpla focal. If fans can accept change then so too should officials.

And I still think that the players should receive their medals there and then. It would add to the sense of ceremony and it would be nice to see the losers also receive an immediate token of appreciation.

Still, those reservations aside, I think the people saying that keeping fans off the pitch would ruin the occasion got it wrong.

And if they're trying to suggest it did last Sunday, then I can vouch that it didn't dent the Tipp celebrations in my presence, celebrations that will go on for some time to come.

Irish Independent

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