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GAA Give Statement On Kildare’s Refusal To Play In Croke Park

Feargal McGill, the GAA’s director of game’s administration gave a statement on Kildare’s refusal to accept Croke Park as a venue for this weekend’s clash with Mayo.

Today, a massive controversy unfolded as Kildare decided to put their foot down when they were told that their home advantage for their matchup against Mayo this weekend was to be taken because of concerns about health and safety – due to the capacity of their home stadium, St. Conleth’s Park in Newbridge.

Kildare GAA released the following statement in the hours that followed the story’s emergence.

Manager Cian O’Neill spoke on RTE News shortly after that and doubled down on his side’s original defiant retort, citing the fact that their home advantage was something they had both earned and fairly been rewarded by the recent draw.

Now, the GAA’s director of game’s administration, Feargal McGill, spoke to The Irish Times and gave a statement on Kildare’s refusal to accept Croke Park as a venue for this weekend’s clash with Mayo.

“The game has been fixed for 7pm in Croke Park, and that is not going to change under any circumstances.

“We fully appreciate where Kildare are coming from. We don’t take home venue off of a team lightly. However, health and safety has to come first. It’s that simple. The last thing we wanted to do was take this out of Newbridge, but we simply had no choice. There is no room for manoeuvre, not when it comes to health and safety. If Kildare don’t show up in Croke Park on Saturday at 7.0pm the game will be awarded to Mayo.

“There were discussions all morning on the matter, and it won’t be changing at this stage. Given the capacity, this is all about health and safety, simple as that. The CCCC have a responsibility for fixing venues, and those venues are fixed subject any health and safety concerns or requirements. Had Kildare drawing anyone other than Mayo at home it is likely that Newbridge would have been acceptable as a venue.”

It will be interesting to see if Kildare hold out on this one. With the stakes now very clear, the ball is well and truly in their court.

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at [email protected]