herald

Thursday 17 August 2017

Dubs fans to boycott pints, burgers and programmes after ban on flag

The flag, which is now on the Croke Park banned list, on Hill 16 during last year’s All-Ireland final
The flag, which is now on the Croke Park banned list, on Hill 16 during last year’s All-Ireland final

Dublin supporters will press ahead with a boycott of match programmes, pints and burgers at Croke Park tomorrow - as the GAA looks set to impose a ban on large flags.

The Boys in Blue take on Monaghan at GAA HQ, but Dubs supporters remain angry over a decision by Croker to not allow a large blue flag on to Hill 16.

The ban came after the GAA introduced a new safety directive last month, which dictates that all flags, bags or packages exceeding A4 size (21cm x 29.7cm) will be prohibited from the ground.

Incidents

GAA director of communications Alan Milton said the new provisions came following incidents such as the May terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena.

Former Lord Mayor and massive Dubs fan Christy Burke attempted to intervene in the dispute, which could cost the GAA thousands, but said he had not received any reply from the association this week.

Mr Burke had discussed a fans' group meeting with stadium director, Peter McKenna, but it will not take place until at least next week as Mr McKenna is currently on holiday.

"I've written to the GAA twice this week to ask for the flag to be allowed in for this one," Mr Burke said.

"I'm disappointed because it was an upbeat discussion with Peter McKenna. We all know compromises can be made."

However, the councillor will not be black-listing goods at the ground tomorrow.

"I wouldn't be getting into boycotting because young people from the area work there," he said. "I don't blame the fans for being annoyed or upset. The Hill without the flag is like the beach without sand."

Barry Fennell, from the Hill 16 Army fans' group, told the Herald that the banning of the flag was the final straw for supporters, with other contentious issues including the fencing that goes around the terracing, affecting fans' view of the action.

"We'll not purchase anything in Croke Park: from the shops, restaurants, the bars," he said.

"The programmes will hurt the GAA. We can't boycott the team; they need our support."

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