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Croke Park 'delighted' to welcome Irish Muslims for Eid celebrations

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Croker will play host to around 500 Muslims for Eid al-Adha

Croker will play host to around 500 Muslims for Eid al-Adha

Croker will play host to around 500 Muslims for Eid al-Adha

The Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha will take place at Croke Park stadium later this month, it has been confirmed.

The stadium will host around 500 people on the pitch.

Because the festival is based on moon-sighting, Eid is currently scheduled to take place on July 31 or August 1, with the exact date to be confirmed on July 21.

Muslim leader Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri said around 500 people are expected to attend.

"There is no other venue that could accommodate 500 Muslims while social-distancing is being implemented that is as iconic and as symbolic as Croke Park," he said.

"It's a venue that represents Irishness at its best."

The festival will take place on the grass, with measures in place to ensure social-distancing.

GAA president John Horan welcomed confirmation of the staging of the celebration at Croker.

"We are delighted to welcome members of the Muslim Community to Croke Park to mark Eid al-Adha, an important date in the Muslim calendar," he said.

"I believe the staging of this celebration fully supports our commitment to inclusion and a GAA welcome linked to our belief that it's 'Where We All Belong'.

Symbolic

"I wish everyone involved in the occasion an enjoyable visit to Croke Park, as it once again shows its suitability and versatility in welcoming visitors to the venue for a wide variety of different events."

Speaking on behalf of the organisers, the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, chairperson Dr Al-Qadri said Croke Park as a venue will be "symbolic" to the Irish Muslim community.

"Many people living in Ireland who are members of the Muslim faith call Ireland home," he said.

"Irish Muslims have contributed significantly in many sectors across our country, especially the health sector."

He added that Croke Park is an icon of "Irishness", which made the hosting of the festival even more significant.

"The choice of Croke Park as a venue for the Eid al-Adha celebration will be symbolic to Irish Muslims in their dual identity as being both Irish and Muslim, and the significance that Croke Park and the GAA have in Irish history," he said.

Dr Al-Qadri added that the GAA is making "great strides" in embracing all communities.

"The historic Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha at Croke Park this year will be a positive representation of Ireland's growing diversity of many different faiths and communities," he said.