Monday 27 January 2020

GAA fans are left counting the cost 
of action

Mark O'Regan

A SEA of green and gold, and green and red, swarming around Dublin's northside, did little to dampen the anger of thousands of GAA fans attending the crunch Croke Park encounter.

The national rail strike had thrown their travel plans for the Mayo and Kerry clash into disarray.

From early morning a steady stream of cars, coaches, and specially commissioned taxis, rolled into the capital.

Last-minute arrangements meant that most fans could still travel.

However, many journeyed to Dublin on Saturday, having forked out up to €150 for a hotel room in the capital, to avoid traffic snarls yesterday morning.

"My parents were planning to get the train up. That would have been so much easier for them, because they were also bringing two small kids - both under 10 - to see the game," said Ross McGrath from Rossport in Co Mayo. "Instead they travelled last night and paid for a hotel, and that was an unecessary added expense.

"They were quite annoyed but what can you do; they wanted to be here. Definitely more should have been done by all sides to end the strike. Nobody gains by having it go ahead on the day that's in it.

"More buses should have been provided. I think a lot of people from Mayo didn't make the journey because of the sheer inconvenience involved" added Ruth McGrath from Ballyhaunis.

Scores of fans from both counties reported leaving as early as 5am yesterday morning.

"I left the house at 7am and the roads were already getting busy. There were tailbacks in spots along the way," said Damien Kelly, from Caherciveen, County Kerry.

"I know of various fans who arranged car pooling."

But as the countdown to the big game got under way the usual pre-match good cheer took hold.

"If Mayo come out on top I wouldn't even mind walking all the way home to Castlebar," joked a red and green bedecked Mary Shiel, who lives in the town.

Irish Independent

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