There was plenty of excitement and anticipation when it was announced that the Connacht SFC semi-final between Roscommon and Galway would be one of the Government ‘test events’ as they attempt re-open society.
Under the 15-20 per cent guidelines, it was thought that between 2,500 and 3,500 people would be allowed to attend the game. However, that figure has been fixed at 1,049, a percentage of the seating capacity at Dr. Hyde Park. So now we will have vast terraces on Sunday with no one there at all.
The decision simply makes no sense. They could have easily accommodated at least 3,000 people on Sunday in total safety and properly stewarded with people on the terraces socially distant and in full compliance with the regulations. If you go Grafton Street this Saturday or to Galway City you will see thousands of people going about their business – and not socially distanced either.
The decision on the attendance means that each county will get about 350 tickets, with the rest going to the players and their families. Talking to County Board officials this week, they are in a complete no win situation. Who do they give the tickets to, and who do they exclude? Everyone I spoke too has said it would be far easier if no one was allowed, because there will be a row regardless of how they manage the distribution of tickets. A test event? Not this one.