The chairman of the pitch invasions’ committee has backed the provinces’ decision not to try on-field presentations after their senior finals and revealed that the GAA is unlikely to use them after the All-Irelands in September.
Increased security will be introduced to prevent people running onto the pitch for the season’s blue riband events however, and if the problem persists in the long term, the GAA may be forced to seek legislation.
What Con Hogan fears is that the latter decision might be taken out of the Association’s hands in the event of a pitch invasion leading to a fatality. With that in mind, the committee is continuing to draw up a list of plans that could include the abolition of captains’ speeches.
“It was a bit late in the day really for the councils to try anything out,” said Hogan yesterday. “We felt that we wouldn’t have time to set it up properly.
“I don’t think we can do anything in September although we will have further talks on that. We will definitely be trying to improve security around Hill 16 to prevent people running on.”
Hogan added: “We want people to enjoy the game. We don’t want to kill the fun but the safety of the supporters, players and officials has to be our primary concern.
“We’re going to have to prevent pitch invasions because they’re a danger to safety and to human life due to the stampeding and crushing that occur around the presentation area.”
And he added: “We won’t have the on-field presentations until we’re sure that there won’t be an invasion, because if you’re on the pitch making a presentation and there is an invasion, it would be even more dangerous.
“We haven’t fully decided to do away with the captain’s speech. We will definitely shorten it. There is a recommendation to the árd comhairle to do away with winning speeches at minor level. The lap of honour will allow the fans to get close up to the players, and see them.”
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