Gardaí will throw a traffic cordon around the revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh GAA stadium in Cork this weekend amid warnings that illegally parked cars will be towed and parking fines will be issued.
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected in the city to attend the two All Ireland hurling qualifiers, as the city also hosts the Munster Fleadh Cheoil competition and the Lee Swim. A motor rally is also taking place around Midleton.
In a bid to avoid traffic and parking chaos, gardaí last night announced details of a major traffic management plan, and urged matchgoers to arrive early for the hurling clashes on Saturday and Sunday, to allow 90 minutes to park in city centre car parks and for the walk to the stadium.
Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan said the core message to GAA fans is to walk to the stadium, and to use public or shared transport.
All city car parks will be open, and 500 parking spaces will be available at the Cork camogie grounds on Castle Road.
Pedestrians will be given priority after the match, with vehicles being held for pedestrian safety.
People entering the cordon will be subject to a bag search, a ticket inspection, and a search for offensive articles.
“There will be barrier checks on approaches to the stadium — items such as flares, alcohol, offensive weapons, bottles and air-horns will be confiscated,” Insp O’Sullivan said.
Gardaí also advised the holders of disability badges that there will be no access inside the traffic cordon unless they have one of the 200 GAA-issued disability passes.
Parking for these badge holders will be available at the Live at the Marquee site, with access via Victoria Roundabout on the Centre Park Road.
A one-way traffic system will be in operation down Centre Park Rd and up Monaghan Rd.
Irish Rail is laying on extra carriages on its Midleton to Cork commuter rail service, doubling capacity from 200 to 400 passengers per service.
Free parking will be available at the rail station car parks — 400 spaces at Midleton, 250 spaces at Carrigtwohill and about 200 spaces at Little Island and Glounthaune stations.
The 202 bus from Merchant’s Quay will depart every 20 minutes to Mahon Point, with several stops close the stadium.
Gardaí said their priority will be to keep local roads open to facilitate buses and emergency vehicles.
Supporters travelling for Sunday’s clash between Waterford and Wexford have also been asked to follow specific advice.
Insp O’Sullivan said it would assist the flow of traffic if fans travelling from the northern parts of both counties used the M8 Cork to Dublin Rd.
He advised fans travelling on the N25 Cork to Waterford Rd to expect heavy traffic volumes and delays, and urged motorists heading to the match to travel via the Jack Lynch Tunnel, and to take the junction 10 Mahon exit.
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