Massive tailback for GAA fans leaving All-Ireland semi-final in Semple stadium
Toll lifted on tunnel in Limerick to ease congestion as cars backed up for 10km
There were massive traffic tailbacks to and from GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay between Clare and Galway in Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie
Similar heavy traffic was reported on the way to the 46,300-seater stadium before the game.
Matchgoers tweeted warnings of the lengthy tailbacks and delays both before and after the match at Semple stadium, the main venue for Munster GAA games.
The toll was lifted on the tunnel in Limerick to ease the congestion.
One tweeter posted: “Lads massive tailbacks outside Templemore (all the way back to Roscrea) on Match route to Thurles”.
The AA reported that traffic was “very heavy” after the match. “There’s an approximately 10km queue on the N62 heading towards Templemore from the Thurles side.”
Another angry tweeter posted: “Traffic backed up into Borrisoleigh from Thurles, that’s 13km, with 25 mins to throw in. Well done @officialgaa you have royally messed up again in 2018. Crazy to have this game anywhere other than Croker.”
A Garda spokesman said An Garda Síochána operates traffic plans for major events including sporting fixtures, and that the Munster final is held at the venue. “There are big matches regularly at Semple stadium and they are policed,” the spokesman said, adding that there were no reports of major difficulty.
Details of the Garda traffic plan for major events are on the Garda website – garda.ie – and in-depth instructions were listed for the best way to get to the Semple stadium match.
The site quotes Supt Patrick Murphy of Thurles Garda station, appealing on Friday to “all patrons attending these matches to be patient and allow sufficient time for their journey and to be guided by gardaí on traffic duty.
Turn for home
“I especially want to make the following appeal to all patrons attending the game – if you must park on the road, ensure your car is turned for home. This is to ensure the minimum delay after the matches.”
He also warned motorists to use the alternative routes suggested in the traffic plan and “allow extra time for your journey, as a large crowd is expected”.
Garda sources suggested the complaints might have been “more to do with ‘they made us go to Semple stadium when we should have been at Croker’ than with traffic. That was probably more of an issue.”
They added that with the plan, “no doubt every motorist did as instructed and nobody parked on a double yellow line”.