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Thursday 14 December 2017

GAA to consult Dubs fans on new screen in front of Hill 16

Fans said their view was obstructed by the ‘weathered’ screen. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Fans said their view was obstructed by the ‘weathered’ screen. Photo: SPORTSFILE

The GAA will consult Dublin supporters over a potential change to the Perspex barrier at the front of Hill 16.

Croke Park chiefs met with representatives of Dublin fan groups on Monday evening and are understood to have said that they are willing to discuss a number of options that could replace the current Perspex screen.

It comes after supporters threatened to boycott beer and food outlets in the stadium over a number of issues which they were unhappy about.

The initial boycott was triggered by the GAA's ban on large flags in the ground, with other issues including the safety on Hill 16, along with the view for supporters who stood towards the bottom of the terrace.

Fans said their view of the pitch was obstructed because of the poor quality of the screen.

It is understood that it is privately accepted within the organisation that the current Perspex screen is "weathered" and a replacement is on the cards.

Supporters have already held two meetings with representatives of Dublin supporters, with a third set to be held on October 16, in which a choice of different screens will be shown.

However, attempts by fans to have the screen removed entirely has been rebuffed, while the representatives have also been told that the screen cannot be lowered as it then becomes a health and safety risk.

Worries

Other issues that cropped up at the meeting included concerns by the GAA about the large numbers of supporters that leave it late to arrive on Hill 16.

It is understood there are worries over congestion in certain parts of the terracing, with the GAA urging supporter representatives to encourage fans to get to the stadium earlier than usual, particularly when it comes to next month's All-Ireland final.

Representative Richie Larkin told the Herald they will be trying to get supporters on to the Hill early.

"We're basically calling on all supporters to be there an hour before the game to get their place on the Hill," he said.

"You won't get through to all supporters and it's not going to work straight away, but we're all aiming for the one thing.

"They're going to bring in different (Perspex) ones to show us, they need a bit of time to get samples in."

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