Late fans cause of crowd chaos -- Fitzgerald
OFFICIALS have blamed tardy fans for the congestion problems and chaotic scenes that delayed throw-in until 5.10 at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening. But the organisers conceded some fault for under-estimating the crowd.
"We had expected between six to nine thousand, based on the attendance at the Limerick v Waterford game (14,000)," said Munster secretary Pat Fitzgerald last night.
"The attendance was 13,800 and we definitely got that wrong. But our stewards did a brilliant job to get so many latecomers in within an extremely short time and to only delay the start by just 10 minutes."
There were 15 stiles open at the Mackey Stand and another 12 to the Clare End Terrace. Fitzgerald confirmed that an extra gate was opened at 4.40 to help clear the sudden logjam. But he firmly laid most of the blame on the late arrival of so many fans.
"By 4.30 we had only 3,500 through the stiles, there were no queues at all until 4.35," Fitzgerald said. "Then we got this huge rush and we opened that extra gate very quickly."