Mayor says row over Croke Park seat ‘no big deal’September 28, 2012 - 7:15am
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
The GAA authorities have written to Galway City Council to clarify the protocol for seating arrangements at Croke Park on All-Ireland Final day after the city’s Mayor, Terry O’Flaherty, complained about being too far away from the presentation area during the drawn game on September 9.
Both Mayor O’Flaherty and her Kilkenny counterpart, Sean O hArgain, complained to stewards in the Ard Comhairle area of the Hogan Stand to express disappointment that they were not closer to the place where the winning captain was due to pick up the Liam McCarthy Cup in the original fixture.
The complaints prompted a senior official to write to the interim City Manager, Joe O’Neill, to clarify that there was no onus on the GAA to provide the Mayors of the competing counties with seats closer to those occupied by President Michael D. Higgins and GAA President Liam O’Neill for the final.
“I can confirm that the Mayor of Galway did engage in conversation with a steward to seek clarification of where she was sitting,” said a City Council spokesman yesterday.
“Croke Park did write to the City Manager to clarify the situation, which we are happy with. The GAA have stated that there is a tradition that the Lord Mayor of Dublin is accommodated in the front row of the Ard Comhairle, where feasible.”
Mayor O’Flaherty said she did not wish to make a big issue of the situation, but she was disappointed that her seat was not closer to the presentation area.
“The Mayor of Kilkenny made a complaint and I was standing right beside him,” she said. “I did not make an official complaint, but I was disappointed that we were not closer to where the winning captain would have been.
“The seats we had were lovely, but you would like to be nearer the presentation area. I was disappointed, but it was no big deal. It was over and done with in a matter of seconds.
"In the past, the Mayors of the competing counties used to sit right beside the Taoiseach and the President. But we had great seats and we were very happy with them.”
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.