GAA climb down in All-Ireland Qualifier venue row with Kildare
THE GAA has defended its original decision to schedule a double-header for Croke Park on Saturday evening after relenting to Kildare’s pressure to move their clash with Mayo to Newbridge.
Cavan’s clash with Tyrone has also been moved out of Headquarters and will take place at Brewster Park, Enniskillen at 5pm on Saturday, with both games to be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Croke Park officials had come under sustained pressure since Monday evening, having been met by a staunch Kildare insistence that they would not play the game anywhere other than St Conleth’s Park.
The GAA had initially suggested that the game would be declared void if they failed to field in Croke Park, but by Tuesday night there were signs that they were beginning to soften on that stance.
After ticket sales had been suspended yesterday morning, news broke just before midday that the game had been moved to Newbridge, remaining at 7pm on Saturday.
“The GAA wishes to point out that the decision by the CCCC to fix the game for Croke Park originally was based on serious concerns around the health and safety of patrons attending the fixture,” read a GAA statement.
“The CCCC has received assurances that these issues will be adequately addressed. The original capacity of 8,200 remains in place.
“Both Kildare and Mayo County Committees will receive 1,500 tickets each for club distribution. The remainder will be used to meet the needs of players, season ticket holders and sponsors.”
That left Cavan and Tyrone faced with the prospect of playing on their own in a deserted Croke Park.
When asked on Monday morning, Cavan had designated Brewster Park as their preferred home venue. Both were happy to go to Croke Park but when it was put back to them yesterday, Cavan were content to revert back to Enniskillen.
Tyrone might have been happier with an outing in Croke Park to exorcise some of the demons from last August, but they may have to wait another week or two, if they get there are all.
Qualifying round three
Saturday, June 30
Leitrim v Monaghan (Carrick-on-Shannon, 2.30pm)
Armagh v Clare (Athletic Grounds, 3pm)
Cavan v Tyrone (Brewster Park, 5pm)
Kildare v Mayo (Newbridge 7pm)
Group One: Kerry, Galway, Fermanagh OR Qualifier, Laois OR Qualifier
July 14/15: Kerry v Galway; Fermanagh OR Qualifier v Laois OR Qualifier
July 21/22: Fermanagh OR Qualifier v Galway; Laois OR Qualifier v Kerry
August 4/5: Kerry v Fermanagh OR Qualifier; Galway v Laois OR Qualifier
Group Two: Dublin, Donegal, Cork OR Qualifier, Roscommon OR Qualifier
July 14/15: Dublin v Donegal; Cork OR Qualifier v Roscommon OR Qualifier
July 21/22: Cork OR Qualifier v Dublin; Roscommon OR Qualifier v Donegal
August 4/5: Donegal v Cork OR Qualifier; Dublin v Roscommon OR Qualifier