Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.41 29 Jul 2021


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Crowd sizes look set to increase through the final rounds of the All-Ireland Championships, according to the Taoiseach.

The Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers is due to make an announcement next week.

It is likely to include increased crowd limits for the All-Ireland semi-finals ahead of a greater increase for the finals.

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Meanwhile, new limits will also be set for the Republic of Ireland’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers at Lansdowne Road.

“I think we can look forward to increasing that figure for the All-Ireland final,” the Taoiseach Micheál Martin told reports at the Swords vaccination centre in Dublin today.

“Certainly, we are looking at the semi-finals. Jack Chambers is engaging with the sporting organisations. We are engaging with the FAI as well in respect of forthcoming World Cup qualifiers and so on to see what we can do and again to see what additional tools can be used to protect as we potentially increase numbers.

“Yeah, we are looking at that.”

He refused to be drawn on whether there was a specific number crowd size the Government was aiming for.

“Jack Chambers will work with the associations and I would prefer to allow Jack make a more comprehensive statement in that regard when he has finalised discussions,” he said.

“But we are looking to increase the numbers somewhat and, as I say, so far so good in relation to the sporting events we have had so far.”

“One of our objectives throughout July has been avoidance of super-spreader events. There is a lot of uncertainty around Delta. There is a sense that it is flattening; there is a sense that what is happening across Europe and the UK we could follow in terms of spiking and coming down but I think it makes sense to maybe monitor it for a while longer and then see where that takes us.”

He said Minister Chambers would be making an announcement on the matter next week.

It comes after crowds of 18,000 attended the Leinster Senior Hurling Final and Football semi-finals in Croke Park earlier this month.

Meanwhile, 7,000 people attended the Munster Senior Hurling Final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Organisers of the Galway Races were disappointed to be only permitted 1,000 fans a day at the 46,000 capacity Ballybrit Racecourse this week.

Main image shows Kilkenny’s TJ Reid during the Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Final match between Dublin and Kilkenny at Croke Park, 17-07-2021. Image: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile


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