McKenna unfazed by invasion fears

CROKE PARK stadium chief Peter McKenna is confident there will be no pitch invasion after tomorrow’s All-Ireland SHC final.

He also revealed that the presentation of the Liam MacCarthy Cup will be held in the Hogan Stand – and not in the centre of the field, as had been speculated.

GAA officials, fearful of a major incident, have taken a tough stance in a bid to end the age-old tradition, including the construction of a controversial perspex barrier at the foot of Hill 16.

Tomorrow, Kilkenny are bidding to achieve history by becoming the first side to claim five senior championships in a row while Tipperary are attempting to land the title for the first time since 2001 and gain revenge for last year’s defeat to the Cats. Despite the emotions surrounding the outcome, McKenna believes that fans will remain in their seats at the final whistle.

He said last night: “We are confident everything will go to plan. Like everything else, you look at all contingencies but we feel that the message is getting across. We have discussed the matter with senior GAA officials, people from healthy and safety along with players and we have taken a harder step with the barriers onto Hill 16.

“We will have the same number of stewards in place as we normally would and hopefully the only Plan B we will have to deal with is if the game ends in a draw.”

He revealed: “The plan is that the presentation will still be in the Hogan Stand. We wanted to keep the tradition of the players going up the steps to receive the trophy.

“After that there will be plenty of razzmatazz as players do a lap of honour. I don’t want to spoil things by saying what we have planned but I am sure the wait will be worthwhile for supporters. The place and the pitch is in great shape ahead of one of the great days in Irish sports.”


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