Limerick and Waterford’s full training panels will be allowed to attend Sunday week’s All-Ireland final, according to Waterford junior minister Mary Butler.
The Fianna Fáil TD had this morning echoed her party colleague and Limerickman Niall Collins’ call for extended squad members, county board officers, and family to be allowed entry to the game in Croke Park on December 13.
Butler has since informed WLR FM that the panels will be permitted to be at the game, which will be of great relief to managers John Kiely and Liam Cahill.
Glad to confirm that full panels will be permitted to attend on match days when Ireland moves to Level 3 from tomorrow— Jack Chambers TD (@jackfchambers) November 30, 2020
“If they don't leave the players come for the final, that would be a real travesty, an absolute travesty,” Kiely said yesterday.
“That would be a massive mistake. It would be an unforgivable mistake if they don't leave the players come to the final, unforgivable, unforgivable.
“But I hope they will cause Level 5 restrictions are finished on Tuesday so I would hope that they will, for both counties' sakes and for the players' sakes on both sides, that's really important and I hope they do.”
On Saturday, Cahill expressed similar sentiments.
“The only thing I would demand is that the extended panel and the rest of the backroom team should be let in. Which is what, 10 or 15 people max, for each squad. That would be a massive plus if that was allowed.”
Butler said this morning: “All-Ireland finals are obviously very special occasions for players, coaches, and their families. However, it is sometimes lost on us the ripple effect that players making a panel and attending a final have in their local communities.
“There is a support system behind these players, who helped them to get to this level, by honing their natural talent, instilling the fundamental skills of the game. While we cannot have a crowd in the stands in the year of a pandemic, it would be such a moral boost for towns, villages, their clubs and everyone involved within that inner community to at least be represented at the match by a player they have produced and supported over the years.”
Full panels for this weekend's All-Ireland Senior Football semi-finals will also be accommodated in Croke Park.
Meanwhile, David Gough has been appointed for Sunday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final between Mayo and Tipperary. Ciarán Branagan is the man in the middle for Cavan and Dublin the day before.