Attendance of 40,000 to be permitted at GAA All-Ireland finals in Croke Park

‘This is an important signal of how far we have come as a country,’ says Chambers

Croke Park will welcome 40,000 fans for this summer’s All-Ireland’s finals. Photograph: Tom Honan

Croke Park will welcome 40,000 fans for this summer’s All-Ireland’s finals. Photograph: Tom Honan

 

A total of 40,000 GAA fans will be allowed to attend next month’s All-Ireland finals, the Government has confirmed.

Meanwhile, 24,000 spectators will be able to go to the four semi-finals in Croke Park next week.

Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers confirmed the figures this afternoon.

It comes after the Taoiseach Micheál Martin said yesterday that he expected attendances to be higher than the 18,000 that had been permitted at recent games due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, 25,000 fans will be allowed in the Aviva Stadium for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Serbia.

Mr Chambers said: “I am delighted to announce increased attendances for the All-Ireland semi-finals and finals as well as two World Cup Qualifiers.

“This is an important signal of how far we have come as a country.

“From the start of this process I stated we wanted to be ambitious around getting supporters back in stadia all around the country and the figures for the upcoming games show that is exactly what is happening.

“I am really pleased we have implemented a very careful return of crowds starting with smaller numbers at first and gradually increasing over the summer months.

“The pilot events have been a great success and have shown how live sporting and other events can be held in a safe manner.”

Finals

Croke Park is to host 40,000 fans for both the hurling and football finals.

The All-Ireland hurling final will take place on Sunday, August 22nd and the football final is on August 29th.

The Republic of Ireland face Azerbaijan in the Aviva Stadium on September 4th and play Serbia three days later on the 7th.

Mr Chambers has been engaging with sporting organisations about increasing capacity for major fixtures.

On Thursday the Taoiseach said the Government was looking at the issue, while also saying: “We want to avoid super spreader events.”

He said there had been some evidence for spikes in cases of the virus in the UK after European Championship matches.

However, in Ireland Mr Martin said it has been “so far so good on the sporting front”.

He said: “The feedback in terms of contact tracing has been positive in the sense that there hasn’t been a huge indication of anything negative.”

His remarks came at a press conference at a vaccination centre in Swords, Co Dublin where the Taoiseach hailed the administration of 5.72 million doses and the protection this has offered against Covid-19.

Mr Martin said the vaccination programme would offer the Government choices when it comes to decisions on the further reopening of society.