Thursday 20 June 2019

Antrim await venue call

Casement Park which was supposed to be completely revamped into a new stadium but the project is in doubt. Photo: Sportsfile
Casement Park which was supposed to be completely revamped into a new stadium but the project is in doubt. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Antrim will find out today if they can host their All-Ireland SFC second-round qualifier game against Kildare in Corrigan Park, the current home venue for their footballers, as the impasse over Casement Park continues.

The St John's club ground in Belfast ordinarily has a capacity of around 2,600 - including players, management and stewards - which, therefore, could set the attendance at around 2,000. However, the venue doesn't have a covered stand.

The GAA's National Facilities, Health and Safety Committee has carried out an assessment of the ground and the potential demand to see the tie.

Games in Northern Ireland are governed by the Safety of Sports Grounds Act and if the demand is thought to be greater than the capacity, legislation may decree that the fixtures must be moved.

Ironically, their opponents Kildare found themselves in the same position 12 months ago, ahead of their third-round qualifier against Mayo which went ahead in St Conleth's Park, Newbridge. Antrim have already had their Ulster quarter-final against Tyrone moved to Armagh's Athletic Grounds.

ALL-IRELAND SFC qualifiers - Round 2 Saturday, June 21: Antrim v Kildare, 3pm, tbc; Longford v Tyrone, 5pm, Glennon Brothers Pearse Park; Derry v Laois, 5pm, Owenbeg; Westmeath v Limerick, 6pm, TEG Cusack Park; Leitrim v Clare, 6pm, Avantcard Páirc Seán MacDiarmada; Monaghan v Armagh, 7pm, St Tiernach's Park, Clones; Down v Mayo 7pm, Páirc Esler, Newry. Sunday, June 22: Offaly v Sligo, 2pm, Bord na Móna O'Connor Park.

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