Backpack ban at Croke Park to beef up security

The GAA is to ramp up security measures at Croke Park from next Sunday by banning fans from bringing large bags or backpacks into the flagship stadium.

Smaller bags will be permitted, but may be subject to searches.

The move follows a review of safety procedures with the relevant statutory authorities.

In a statement yesterday, the GAA said it was urging fans “not to bring bags at all where possible”.

The decision to ban big bags at Croke Park follows similar new regulations imposed by the the Aviva Stadium where a “no bag policy” operated for Ireland’s recent international matches against Austria and Uruguay.

In a Q&A on website, fans are advised that only small bags measuring no bigger than A4 will be permitted into the stadium, which means sandwiches and a flask may have to be left in the car.

They are also advised that they may be subject to “a full body pat down” and/or use of handheld metal detectors.

Anything confiscated cannot be returned once a patron enters the grounds.

Items banned include alcohol, fireworks, smoke canisters, bottles, glasses, cans, flags, banners, poles, distress signals, laser pointers, selfie sticks — basically anything which could or might be used as a weapon.

The ban will be in place when Dublin take on Westmeath in the Leinster Senior Football semi-final on June 25. The introduction of new safety procedures come at a time of heightened fears around terrorist attacks.

Whether fans attending the revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork will face the same bag ban remains to be seen.

The stadium opening, which should have taken place on July 2, has been delayed until July 23.


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