Thursday 18 July 2019

'You just can't fit everything in' - John Horan admits Cork double-header would have been more 'desirable'

Horan: "You just can’t fit everything in." Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

GAA president John Horan has admitted it would have been more "desirable" to have fixed Cork's football and hurling All-Ireland quarter-finals on the same day at the same venue, but splitting the two hurling quarter-finals would have been "more difficult".

Cork supporters will be in Croke Park on Saturday night at 7pm to face Dublin in their opening All-Ireland SFC quarter-final and will be back at the same venue on Sunday at 2pm for the hurling quarter-final against Kilkenny.

The cost of an overnight in the capital for many of these supporters who wish to watch both teams has been deemed prohibitive, as has the prospect of two separate journeys.

Horan, speaking at the launch of the All-Ireland Hurling Championships in Mungret St Paul's GAA club in Limerick, suggested the support base for both codes in Cork were largely different.

"When you talk about the Cork supporter, the football supporter will be a different cohort to the hurling supporter. The guy that bridges both, these things are unfortunate.

"There will always be an appetite to have a game on a Saturday night and a Dublin game is generally on a Saturday night.

"And for the hurling supporter, the double-header on a Sunday does fit in well together. Just to split it would have been a lot more difficult.

"You just can't fit everything in. If you were trying to put three fixtures on a Sunday, where would you put a Dublin-Cork game? Are you going to put it on at noon to get them all in? That's the unfortunate thing.

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"Unfortunately, we are in such a narrow time-frame playing so many games, there are always going to be clashes. And the interest in them is so great, that is what happens."

Horan said the GAA were guided by health and safety restriction in reducing the capacity in Fitzgerald Stadium from 38,000 to just under 32,000 for Sunday's Super 8s game between Kerry and Mayo.

"We are governed by the laws of the land and that is where it ties in," he stated.

"It is not just a simplistic thing to say you could just put 38,000 people into that stadium, you have got the access, you have got the egress. You have the availability of a curtain-raiser that will allow greater numbers accessing the ground.

"A 'makey-up' curtain raiser was not going to solve the problem. You need one that fits in.

"But our relationship with the LGFA is such that there are the possibilities of more ladies football matches being used as curtain-raisers."

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