The Munster Council have conceded that unless huge work is carried out on the province’s stadiums, they can do little to prevent pitch invasions.
Following Limerick’s victory over Cork on Sunday, thousands of fans spilled out onto the Gaelic Grounds turf to join the players celebrating their victory. While no one was hurt, the Munster Council reiterated their plea to fans to stay off the pitch in future.
“We would have appealed in advance, as we said before every other match, for the supporters to stay off the pitch afterwards,” said Munster Council PRO Ed Donnelly.
“We didn’t put additional stewards in place. We know Croke Park do and it works there since they put the big barrier in place in front of Hill 16. But in the Gaelic Grounds, like many venues in Munster, we had two terraces to look after. We physically didn’t have the manpower to prevent it and wouldn’t encourage it [pitch invasions] in future. Unless we put serious remedial works in place in the stadiums, it’s virtually impossible to keep supporters off the field.”
Donnelly conceded that the sight of thousands standing in front of Limerick captain Donal O’Grady as he lifted the cup was remarkable but believes fans should stay off the pitch for safety reasons — particularly as Limerick’s Stephen Walsh was almost ruled out of the clash with Cork after a fan accidentally stuck his finger in the corner back’s eye during the pitch invasion after the semi-final win over Tipperary.
“As a GAA supporter I couldn’t help but be impressed as Donal O’Grady got the cup. Having said that there’s always the safety element and that’s the balance.”
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