Saturday 24 March 2018

GAA stand firm on turf

THE GAA will redouble their efforts to ensure that Croke Park’s pitch is kept free of supporters for the presentation after Sunday’s All-Irelandfootball final, WRITES MARTIN BREHENY.

The controversial policy, which involved erecting barriers in front of Hill 16, worked well after the hurling final but is now facing another major test.

“Neither Down nor Cork have won the football All-Ireland for several years so obviously there will be people who want to come on to the pitch, but we would ask them to look back on how successful the presentation was for the hurling final,” said stadium director Peter McKenna.

“It worked for the players and for the majority of people, who didn’t want to come on to the pitch. It was nice for the Tipperary players to be able to have a lap of honour, while the Kilkenny team appreciated the new arrangements too as they were treated with dignity in defeat.”

The downside of the new arrangement is that, due to safety considerations, the capacity of Hill 16 is reduced by 700. However, McKenna hinted that if the new system were seen to work successfully over a period of time, the barriers would be removed.

“We don’t want to see them there and would hope they won’t be necessary once people get used to the new arrangements and see how well they work,” he said.

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