Wednesday 21 February 2018

Missing Dubs fans are a problem

"NOTHING beats being there" runs the GAA's promotional blurb for the championships but clearly the Dublin public found a whole lot to beat turning up at Croke Park last Sunday.

The attendance of 31,530 was the lowest at a Leinster championship match involving the Dublin footballers at headquarters for 12 years. The turnout for the Dublin-Westmeath Leinster semi-final in 2000 was 30,972.

Unlike last Sunday, it wasn't part of a senior double event. Dublin played in front of 22,107 (versus Tipperary) and 25,947 (versus Armagh) respectively at Croke Park in the 2010 All-Ireland qualifiers, relatively small crowds largely due to doubts about the side after the big Leinster semi-final defeat by Meath.

Now, despite being All-Ireland champions, it appears if their summer following has lost interest in Leinster games for which Dublin are clear favourites.

Granted, bad weather, severe traffic restrictions in Dublin city centre and 'live' TV coverage were a persuasive trio in favour of staying at home but a crowd of 31,530 for a Croke Park double-header involving Dublin was a throwback to days the GAA thought were long past.

Irish Independent

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