13 Aug 2022

Laois GAA Chairman hits out at 'ridiculous' attendance caps for GAA games

Laois CCC rule that Kelly Cup final to go ahead this Saturday

Peter O'Neill

Peter O'Neill has warned ticketless supporters to stay away

“To be honest with you, I dont think it's compatable at all to have 100 people in a 6,500 capacity stand in a 25,000 capacity ground. There will be more people in the apartments (that overlook O'Moore Park) than there will be in the stands.”

That's the view of Laois GAA Chairman Peter O'Neill who is still hoping that the restricted attendances at GAA matches will be rasied from 200 people.

Speaking to the Leinster Express, O'Neill explained that the attendance cap is causing a lot of headaches for the clubs and the County Board.

Only 100 supporters are allowed into games at the moment as the other 100 people are taken up by players, management, officials, media and stewards.

Laois GAA adult championships kick off next Tuesday with the Junior hurling championship and O'Neill commented that a rise in the attendance cap would solve a lot of problems.

“If it comes up before Friday that we get the extra grounds, it would solve any awful lot of our problems. If we got to an attendance of 400, it would solve a lot of problems around the County with the likes of Junior matches. There is a big push being made.

“I know there is health and safety but it is ridiculous. We all want to be safe but you can't go over the top.”

Meanwhile, clubs are getting ready to dish out their allocation of 50 tickets for the championship games that begin next week.

The County Board chairman also had a strong message for supporters thinking of turning up at a game without a ticket.

“What I want to stress is that no one turns up without a ticket because they won't get in and they are only causing conflict. My message is clear – do not turn up to any match without a ticket.

“Clubs can do it any way they like but the common practice going on is a draw between members. You have to put your name in and in some cases you have to turn up the night of the draw and if you don't turn up on the night, you don't get your ticket.”

Meanwhile the Kelly Cup final will go ahead on Saturday after the semi final between Killeshin and Ballylinan that was due to be played last weekend was awarded to Ballylinan by the Laois GAA CCC.

The game was due to take place last weekend but Killeshin had to suspend all club activity due to coming into close contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Ballylinan will take on Graiguecullen in the final in what will be a timely game for both with the championship kicking off two weeks later.

The game will take place in Crettyard on at 7.15pm and it will be the first official Laois GAA game to be held since the Covid-19 crisis came into play.

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