Sunday 25 September 2016

Big screens could be erected in Eyre Square for Connacht's Pro12 playoff

Published 10/05/2016 | 15:49

Connacht's Bundee Aki leads the celebrations with his teammates following their victory over Glasgow Warriors. Guinness PRO12, Round 22, Connacht v Glasgow Warriors. Sportsground, Galway. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE
Connacht's Bundee Aki leads the celebrations with his teammates following their victory over Glasgow Warriors. Guinness PRO12, Round 22, Connacht v Glasgow Warriors. Sportsground, Galway. Picture credit: Seb Daly / SPORTSFILE

CONNACHT rugby fans desperate to witness the team’s Pro-12 play off with Glasgow could get the chance to soak up the atmosphere even if they don’t secure one of the coveted tickets to the Sportsgrounds.

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As the team has surged forward in the competition, the numbers of eager supporters desperately trying to attend the home games has surged.

Officials have been forced to turn away thousands of fans from the Sportsgrounds for each of the past few home games.

Now Galway City Council is considering erecting a big screen in the city to allow fan watch the game, close to the action.

The initial request was made by traders in the vicinity of Eyre Sq, who requested the screen be erected in the square for the game. Screens were previously erected in Eyre Sq for the All-Ireland hurling finals last September.

However, council officials are concerned this could impact on the recovery of the square so close to judging for the European Capital of Culture.

“The difficulty is the grass hasn’t come back fully since the Christmas market. As the Chief Executive Brendan McGrath said at the council meeting, it’s not looking it’s best at the moment in Eyre Sq.

“We do want to spruce it up, particularly in light of members of the judging panel for European Capital of Culture coming to town in July. So we want to spruce it up a bit and one of the things is we have to get the grass going again.

“If you sew grass and then you invite several thousand people to come stand on it and you’ve no idea what the weather will be like, that could be a problem,” said a spokesperson for the council.

However, while Eyre Sq may be off the cards, the council insisted it was reviewing other options.

“There’s a positive inclination towards this but the question is whether it can be facilitated and at the same time help the grass in Eyre Sq, so it might be a different location.

“We’ll be looking at possibilities, there is a few, part of it is trying to estimate how big a crowd it will draw,” he added.

Tickets for the May 21 game go on sale at 9am this morning and are expected to sell out quickly.

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