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Croke Park to host socially distanced Eid festival



Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri. Photo: Gerry Mooney

The Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha will take place at Croke Park stadium this month, the GAA announced.

Under Government advice, places of worship closed at the beginning of the pandemic on March 12. However, public health advice will allow a maximum of 100 in an indoor setting from July 20.

GAA president John Horan welcomed confirmation of the event, saying that the GAA was "delighted" to welcome members of the Muslim community.

"I believe the staging of this celebration fully supports our commitment to inclusion and a GAA welcome linked to our belief that it's 'Where We All Belong'," he said.

Because the festival is based on moonsighting, Eid is currently scheduled to take place on July 31 or August 1, with the exact date to be confirmed on July 21.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri said 500 people would attend the festival. "There is no other venue that could accommodate 500 Muslims while social distancing is being implemented that is as iconic and as symbolic as Croke Park," he said. "It's an iconic venue."

The festival will take place on the pitch, with measures put in place for markings to aid social distancing.

Dr Al-Qadri added that Croke Park would be "symbolic" to the Irish Muslim community.

"The choice of Croke Park as a venue for Eid al-Adha celebration will be symbolic to Irish Muslims in their dual identity as being both Irish and Muslim and the significance that Croke Park and the GAA have in Irish history."

Irish Independent