YOU just know you’ve been enveloped by a recession when Kildare get to the closing stages of the All-Ireland senior football competition and Croke Park is not even half full.
Lilywhite supporters made up the lion’s share of the 31,072 folk who turned up to watch their team qualify for the quarter final on Saturday afternoon (July 23) in a five-point victory over Derry..
Given that these were marquee games and that the GAA had reduced the price of tickets, the low turnout was a bit of a surprise. It wasn’t the only surprise that was in store.
Many hundreds of supporters – most of them from Kildare – missed the throw-in and a goodly portion of the first half because of the length of the queue which formed outside the GAA’s ticket office on the approach to the ground.
If there was at least one other ticket selling venue or if more people were deployed by the GAA it may not have happened. When Dublin’s supporters are unable to make the significantly shorter journey to the ground on time they can generally assume that the game will be held up until they arrive at Croke Park.
It was not possible for the Leinster Leader to elicit an explanation from GAA head office before the paper went to press.
On Saturday Kildare play Donegal at the same venue (6pm) in the quarter final.
Meanwhile former Naas and Kildare player Barry Daly scored a point for Galway in the All-Ireland senior hurling quarter final against Waterford on Sunday in Semple Stadium, Thurles.
FULL MATCH COVERAGE INSIDE... PLUS KILDARE GAA HQ RANSACKED