In The Irish News on June 24 1997: GAA apologises after crowd spillage onto Croke Park pitch
THE GAA have apologised to the supporters of Dublin, Kilkenny, Wexford and Offaly, and to the Dublin and Kilkenny teams after Sunday's crowd spillage at Croke Park, which forced play to be held up in the first Leinster SHC semi-final.
And the Leinster Council last night admitted that in future years fixtures of such magnitude will be all-ticket affairs for both stands.
Up to 3,000 men, women, and children among the 52,071 attendance were forced to walk around the perimeter of the pitch and take their seats in the Hogan Stand due to overcrowding in the New Stand. As a result referee Pat Ahearne was forced to halt the action for about 10 minutes midway through the first half of Kilkenny's victory over Dublin as supporters were ushered to seats in the all-ticket Hogan Stand.
Tickets were not, however, required for the New Stand and the overcrowding was caused by the fact that children were allowed into this area of the ground free of charge.
In a statement released yesterday the GAA offered an apology for the inconvenience caused but said that under the circumstances they were happy with the actions.
"When it was obvious that the crowd could not be accommodated in the New Stand it was decided, in the interest of safety, to continue to allow people entry to the ground with the purpose of transferring the surplus people to the vacant seats on the Hogan Stand,"said a GAA spokesman.
"This exercise worked extremely well and people filtered without effort from the back of the New Stand through the aisles and onto the pitch surround. "Unfortunately some people encroached on the playing area which caused the game to be suspended for a period."
Ireland looks set to host the Ryder Cup in 2005, with a formal announcement likely to be made during this year's renewal between Europe and the United States at Valderrama in Spain.
Irish Minister for Sport Bernard Allen has had further talks with European PGA Tour executives and is confident of winning the right to stage one of golf's leading competitions.
Formal proposals are being outlined by the PGA to Allen's Ryder Cup committee, and he said: "I am glad that the process to stage one of the world's major sporting events in Ireland for an historic first time is now on target for a September announcement."
If Ireland is successful, then the K Club near Dublin, which has staged the European Open for the last two years, is favourite to be chosen as the host course.
Celtic's new general manager, Jock Brown, has denied he is on a collision course with rebel foreign stars Paolo Di Canio and Jorge Cadete but insists he will get tough if they mess the club about.
The 51-year-old lawyer and TV commentator is facing a rapid baptism of fire in his role as Parkhead troubleshooter after his appointment at the weekend as the club's new chief of football operations.
Unsettled Di Canio and Cadete have both said through their agents that they will not be returning to Glasgow because of contract rows with chairman Fergus McCann. Celtic start pre-season training tomorrow, when Italian frontman Di Canio is expected, with top scorer Cadete due next week. But Brown insists: "I'm not aware of any problem at the moment. I've read the stories in newspapers but I have no reason to think that Paolo Di Canio will not be here. "Jorge Cadete is due a few days later because he had international commitments, but I'm not going to anticipate problems.
"However, if they don't turn up, then I'll make it a priority to sort it out! I hope to be able to communicate with any player who has problems. The new head coach should be able to concentrate on what happens on the training ground, I'll deal with the rest."