RTE Sport report that Mayo GAA are not happy with the GAA’s decision to schedule their All-Ireland qualifier meeting with Down for a 7 pm throw-in on Saturday week.
According to RTE, Mayo requested the game be played at 3 pm due to the long journey from Mayo to Newry for both players and supporters. However, the request was obviously ignored as the GAA pencilled the game for 7 pm. The GAA’s fixture committee the Central Competition Control Committee (CCCC) failed to consult Mayo and just scheduled the game for that time, leaving Mayo GAA officials disappointed and surprised.
Speaking to RTE Sport the Mayo GAA Public Relations Officer, Paul Cunnane said, “We want to put on record our disappointment over this decision,” He went on to emphasise the long journey for supporters saying some of them won’t get home till 1 or 2 o clock in the morning, he said ” A lot of our fans will be facing a four-to-five hour journey home. They won’t be getting into their cars until 9 pm, and that’s only if the game doesn’t go to extra-time, so they won’t be back home until one or two o’clock in the morning”.
Speaking to the Mayo News John Prenty who is the Connacht Council Secretary said there were a number of reasons the game had to be played at 7 pm. Reasons which were Down were playing in the Christy Ring Final at Croke Park at 2 pm, the U20 side are playing Antrim, which is the curtain raiser to the Ulster final between Donegal and Cavan on June 23rd. The PSNI also requested that the game be scheduled for a late throw in due to a high volume of shoppers in Newry on a Saturday.
Cunnane said One of the reasons given was that the PSNI requested a later start. But the game could have gone ahead at 3pm on Saturday in Castlebar no problem. Donegal-Tyrone was in Cavan last Saturday at 5pm. Both are busy towns so what’s the difference?”We have great support and a lot of that is made up of young families. We certainly couldn’t blame many of them if they decided not to travel on this occasion.”
Mayo, unfortunately, may just get on with things. It will be a difficult game for them and they face a difficult road if they are to get into the Super 8’s.