"Why can't we have at least 30% crowd capacity at matches this weekend?"

June 25, 2021

Offaly county board chairman Michael Duignan. ©INPHO/James Crombie.

Offaly county board chairman Michael Duignan has put forward an argument for increased attendances at GAA championship matches.

The All-Ireland provincial championships return this weekend, with football and hurling action across all four provinces.

Up to 200 spectators will be permitted into grounds, with a minimum capacity of 5,000, while 500 are allowed into matches taking place in Northern Ireland, including the Ulster SFC opening round clash between Down and Donegal at Pairc Esler.

In the context of Semple Stadium, the second largest GAA stadium in Ireland, with a capacity of 45,690, only 200 fans will be there at the Clare-Waterford Munster SHC tie on Sunday, despite 2,400 going along to the Thurles venue six days later for Limerick's showdown with Cork, one of the pilot sporting events for the return of spectators.

Duignan, who has overseen a dramatic upturn in fortunes for the Faithful County since taking the county chair two years ago, called for a 30% crowd capacity at these matches as scientific evidence says it would be safe.

"Why can’t we have at least 30% crowd capacity at matches this weekend?"  the former two-time All-Ireland winning Offaly hurler asked on Twitter.

"This time last year we had no idea if outdoor activity was safe, we now have scientific evidence that it is.

"I’m delighted to see retail, hospitality etc open open but surely we should have started outside!"


Most Read Stories