Unholy row over site for hurlers’ homecomingSeptember 14, 2012 - 7:15am
BY DARA BRADLEY
An unholy row is brewing over the Galway senior hurling team’s All-Ireland final homecoming – one local representative has slammed the Cathedral as an ‘unsuitable’ and ‘unsafe’ venue to welcome home the city and county’s hurling heroes.
A homecoming celebration planned for last Monday night at Galway Cathedral obviously had to be postponed after Anthony Cunningham’s charges earned a draw in Sunday’s decider against Kilkenny thanks to an injury time free from star forward Joe Canning. The ceremony was to be hosted by Mayor of Galway, City Councillor Terry O’Flaherty (Ind).
But City Councillor Ollie Crowe (FF) yesterday voiced concerns about the Cathedral as a venue for such a celebration claiming even Galway Gardaí were worried about health and safety issues of hosting such big crowds at the Council-owned Cathedral car park.
Cllr Crowe, a hurling enthusiast from the Liam Mellows club, has called for the re-fixed homecoming celebration, due to be held on October 1, the Monday after the replay, to be moved to Galway Harbour, where the successful Volvo Ocean Race finale was staged earlier this Summer.
“The Cathedral just isn’t suitable for a homecoming celebration . . . even Gardaí voiced concerns at a meeting with the County Board and Council officials about the Cathedral in terms of health and safety. It’s just not suitable for big crowds, especially at the Salmon Weir Bridge, which isn’t big enough.
“You could get about 10,000 or 12,000 at the Cathedral, but the docks area would be able to cater for about three times that amount, well over 30,000, which will be needed if Galway wins.
“Health and safety at the docks is better. It would be a new and exciting venue for a homecoming – just because they did it at the Cathedral for the past 20 years doesn’t mean they shouldn’t change. The docks can hold the numbers and we saw that during the Saw Doctor’s concert during the Volvo,” he said.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.