Final venue set to be decided tomorrow night

Connacht Final 2015 Captains

Photo: Connacht GAA

Connacht GAA announced earlier on that the Provincial CCC is set to meet tomorrow night (Wednesday) where the venue for this year’s Connacht final will be decided. I’ve no idea which way that decision will go, I must admit, but at least we’ll all know for certain soon enough and can start planning accordingly.

We can also start turning our thoughts back to the game itself. The Mayo News reports today that we’ve a number of players nursing injuries at the minute. Chief amongst those afflicted is Diarmuid O’Connor who has a reported fractured bone in his hand. He’s got to be a doubt for the Connacht final on this basis, though I guess it depends on which bone it is and how long it takes to heal itself.

Others who sat out their respective club championship matches last weekend due to injury were Cillian O’Connor (though that report linked above suggests that Cillian might line out for Tubber this coming weekend), Alan Dillon, Andy Moran, Tom Cunniffe and Kevin Keane. All of these injuries would appear to be of the minor variety – in Cillian’s case it looks as if his absence last weekend was precautionary as his knee rehab continues – and I doubt if any of them are at any risk of missing the Connacht decider.

There is, of course, one more round of club championship matches to come this weekend so best continue to keep the fingers crossed that all of the county squad come through this okay. Once this round is done, then I think the club action heads for the deep freeze until after our inter-county season is over (hopefully in late September).

Finally, while you’re waiting round to hear about where the Connacht final is likely to be held, you might want to think about sorting out your wardrobe for the day. If so, you’ll be glad to know that O’Neill’s have updated their stock of official licensed merchandise and even my colour-blind eyes can see that this clobber comes in several different colours and designs. Full details here.

82 thoughts on “Final venue set to be decided tomorrow night

  1. It’s on in McHale Park. Just heard it from a very reliable source. Gate money to be split.

  2. Out of curiosity WJ what would a fully packed MacHale Park bring in Revenue wise?

  3. Is there anything to be said for saying another owl mass? Ya know, maybe divine intervention might guide them to making the right choice of venue.

  4. I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t McHale park tbh. $$$$ talks

    That said I’m based in Galway City so Pearse would suit me a lot better, I’d just stroll out to it

    As for injuries with all due respect if there’s one match we can afford to be missing one or two it’s most likely this one. Most of our bench would walk into the Sligo side anyway. Yes, no doubt there’ll be ‘take nothing for granted’ comments (or even dafter ’50-50′ like references from the previous thread) but I’m sorry as well and all as we might try, we cannot affect match outcomes from behind our own keyboards!

    We are stupid-to-one odds on for a reason!

  5. How does it work anyway as a matter of interest , what percentage does Connacht council get, home county and the other county?

    You’d imagine castlebar itself does well over the weekend too?

    Do the gardai have a say , as in could they turn round and say it would cause too much traffic congestion with there being other things on in Galway too ? Police in the UK have a big say in times and dates of big games as far as I know.

  6. Sean Burke I’d say that’s more for riots than traffic issues 😀 😀

    Sadly I cannot see Gardai concerns coming into it at all tho. I remember one year the airshow being on the exact same day as Galway mayo in Salthill (airshow was always one of galway’s biggest tourist attractions). carnage!

  7. Not just carnage that day Ciaran, but the mother of all sunburns. And we f**king lost!

  8. That airshow day was I think the day I returned via Barna, Moycullen, Maam Cross, Cong and back to Claremorris. The longest way round being the shortest way home. At least I was moving. So I have a natural love for Salthill as a GAA venue.

  9. Trevor,

    If McHale Park’s permitted capacity is 28,000 as MayoMick said in a previous post the figure of €600 k to €650 k would sound reasonable. [25,000 x €25 av, is €625 k]. The host ground would get 10% as park rent and presumably Mayo could split this with Sligo. The rest goes to Connacht Council.

  10. Just heard on Newstalk that the Munster hurling final is in Thurles. Logic prevails although it has to be said that few object to playing in Thurles even against Tipp. Can Sligo follow?

  11. sligo should look to play it on the runway at knock airport.Ciaran you could fly your air plane at half time to wow the croud.

  12. Its a long spin up and down from North Sligo if the game is on in Galway. What with the traffic all going one way and then the other it would take many hours. I think the Final in McHale park with the split gate seems far more likely.

  13. I’m with ciaran… Im a hop over a wall and into Pearse Stadium… So hoping its on in sunny Salthill-sur-met. If not then always love Castlebar. Win win:) lets just hope our lads r focused and hit Sligo early. No messing about.

  14. Hope it’s in MacHale Park but would fully understand Sligo insisting on Salthill, and wouldn’t hold it against them either. Why should they make it any easier on us for the sake of money. Without being cocky, it won’t matter where it’s played to our Mayo lads.
    The one disappointment of Sligo winning however is I was so looking forward to giving the new all Ireland and league division one champions, Roscommon, a good hiding in MacHale Park. Grew up 5 miles from the border in east Mayo and still don’t know where they get their arrogance and cockiness. 2 memories stick with me. 1, the U21 defeat in MacHale Park last year and 2, the FBD defeat in Ballinlough. Their over exuberance, lack of class and downright abuse towards Mayo on those 2 occasions summed them up for me. I really hope we get them in the quarter finals.
    Hon Mayo.

  15. Havent ever had bad encounters with Rossies…have with Donegal and Cork and especially Meath.Surprisingly Kerry always generous once they beat you.
    Northern teams are often beligerent before and after and I have no time for Dubs.
    Look it is just competition and anyone can appear cocky to anyone else on the day.
    I find Rossies very fair by and large.
    Worst by a long degree are Sligo…awful feckers…for now.They will return to being ok after 19th!

  16. @AndyD

    I think kids tickets at a reduced rate will be available so not every attendee will pay the €25. Possibly 30% of people at reduced ticket rates.

  17. Does anyone know what the record attendance in Castlebar is for a match? In 2001 when Galway beat Roscommon there in an All Ireland Quarter Final, the attendance seemed very large.

  18. I think the modern day record is around 35,000. That was the capacity before the renovations and it was filled on a few occasions between 1998 and 2006 if I remember rightly. I think it is capped at just under 30,000 now so we won’t see those numbers again any time soon. It would also take a serious Ros or Galway redurgance to generate that kind of demand, their supporter numbers have both tailed off a lot in the last 10 years. We’d do well to get over 25,000 for the Sligo game.

  19. 2 things, I think daragh o se is a windup merchant, he’s saying today that Keith Higgins is a centre forward and I wonder of he’s just saying it to get people talking? Imagine the damage that James odonoghue would have done only for Higgins last August, we would have been sliced to ribbons.
    Second thing is, I went on the link to oneils website, jaypers, there’s some fancy mayo stuff on it. You wouldn’t be stuck for a nice jacket, polo top or the like. Very impressed.
    And I am hoping that wherever Sligo decide for the final that Mayo just get on with it and don’t get distracted thinking about quarterfinals, like Roscommon did of the Connaught final.

  20. Santanico,

    No doubt kids tickets will be at a reduced rate and there will also be a concession for Senior Citizens and students. But I don’t expect stand tickets to be at €25 either, more likely €35. And I also expect that we will be near full capacity. If Sligo supporters do not turn our in big numbers for this they never will and the prospect of a five in a row should bring out most Mayo supporters too.

  21. Dave call me daft but I actually agree with him in a way, I think Keith can do some serious damage for us at 11 again this season

    By the way I added 2013 to name as there’s two “Ciaran’s” above- I’m the one above with capital C at start 😀 2013 my favourite year so far following the green and red and when I started following this very blog, so it’s apt!

    Mayonaze dead right nothing to lose! Home advantage is huge, while better chance making it to Pearse 🙂

    Yeah that airshow was famous alright, mental doesn’t come close. Wasn’t it around 30 odd degrees too?

  22. Sligo will bring a big crowd. I remember in 2010 they brought a big crowd but then again they did think they had that one won before they turned up. I expect a big crowd at the man

    I never had any issue with Rossie fans either but I imagine if you close to the border if either county and throw in the Ballaghderreen issue then that rivalry around there is intensified. Im sure if you ask them they wud tell u the same about us

    The Meath supporters really dislike us. That goes back to historical times and the Mayo folk getting land up there. That is still well remembered and if Mayo are in a big match you will see numerous Mayo flags around the county. There is always an edge there and if they had a better team over the last few years im sure the rivalry would have been heightened.

    Mayo for 5 in a row I reckon and an ice cream by the seaside in Salthill

  23. I would imagine if Sligo want big numbers they should choose Castlebar over Salthill. It’s a long run from North Sligo, for example, to Salthill and any supporters not entirely committed to the cause may bawk at that journey. Castlebar is a far handier run in comparison.
    Whatever they decide, their decision must be respected and accepted. Let’s not start a whole story within a story about venues and capacities and whose turn it is to do what! Let’s not get distracted, eyes firmly on the prize, 5 in a row is all that counts.

  24. SixPointsUp that is a good question. What is the record attendance at Castlebar. It must be recorded or logged somewhere.

    Also what is the current capacity of Mchale Park. Depending on where you look i’ve found answers of
    42,000(Wikipedia)
    40,000,
    38,000 also wikipedia,
    36,000,
    32,000,
    30,000,
    “just under 30,000”,
    28,000,
    28,187.!!!!!

  25. Well the stand in MacHale Park holds 10,000. Anyone see Hyde Park is being brought into consideration…my god. That said it is being reported by the Telegraph which is hardly the bastion of truth when it comes to all things Mayo GAA.

  26. Ciaran2013 – don’t worry about that other Ciaran who popped up this morning: that one is a serial troll who tries to post comments using a variety of names but who is now on the blacklist. Those comments from this morning shouldn’t have made it to the site and have since been deleted. That eejit isn’t, by the way, to be confused with the other genuine Ciaran who regularly posts here as well.

  27. Its hard to trust the old official attendance figures as children were never counted – remember being lifted over turnstiles! There must have been huge crowds in the late 60’s when Galway and Mayo had a great rivalry in Connacht, but from photos the crowds seemed as big in games such as the 1989 final against Roscommon and the 1998 and 2006 games against Galway.

  28. Steve, the stand doesn’t hold 10k anymore. There was a lot of shifting and chopping and changing of seats there since it went in. God, when I think of what we could have had :'(

  29. Hello Ciaran 2013, have been posting under cjaran 2 and not be confused with the impersonator mentioned by WJ. I am sure no one would confuse your learned comments with my feeble attempts at football erudition. Ciaran 2.

  30. Steve. Great bit of video. 34,613 according to Marty. She looked fairly full alright. That could be the leader and might take some beating.

  31. Taken from the Connacht Councial website:

    Venue decided for Championship Finals

    Dr. Hyde Park in Roscommon has been chosen as the venue to the 2015 Connacht GAA Football Championship finals on Sunday 19th July. The following areas were considered in making the decision on the venue.

    Geographical Location of Counties
    Expected attendance
    Capacities of Grounds in the Province

    The Council has put an Event Management Plan in place which will give a capacity of > 20,000 for the Stadium. This will accommodate the expected attendance.

  32. Great piece of video is right! Is their any link to limerick last year? I know we are still raw about it but would like to look at it again, the only clips i can find on youtube are only about 2mins long!.

  33. Sweet Jesus, i thought the Hyde couldnt hold connacht finals?? Still, tis better than going to Salthill! Our recent record there is decent. The rossies might use their bus as a shuttle service from the town centre to the hude? 😉

  34. The important thing is that we win, and in that regard we have a great record in the Hyde. I’d say in modern times we’ve as many finals there as in Castlebar. The moaning over the venue is getting tiresome, I’m sure they will have toilets!

  35. I always knew the County Board were a bunch of gobshites but if they agree to this then God help our team.Hyde park is a kip,no toilets,chances are there could be four different counties involved between senior and minor and only 20k allowed in.

  36. Ha cheers Willie Joe, was even getting confused myself 😀

    Sound job

    Jeez lads, the Hyde?? FFS!

    Mayonaze what did we do to deserve this? 😀

  37. Pacar it’s not the Mayo County Boards call..ffs. It was Sligos call. As long as we win and move on to the quarter finals that is all that matters.

  38. The final is in the Hyde. I might have to hunt down all those Rossies disliking bloggers here and have a drink with them in Ros town on the day

    Im making a list here lol. I will be driving the bus but I might be picky in who I let on it lol. As a Rossies I would love to know what plan the Connacht council have put in place to increase capacity considering they told us we couldnt hold Connacht finals.

    U couldnt be up to those boys in the Connacht council.

  39. Pacar, I disagree, this is a good compromise, the only people who will not get tickets will be those that only occasionally go to games. This is a neutral venue, they will fit 22k plus if required, they can put in portable loo’s. There will be a bit of a buzz if sold out, much prefer this to Salthill,

  40. Strange, strange, strange decision…..

    I can’t make sense of it at all. We all understood Dr Hyde Park couldn’t accommodate Connacht finals. What notion struck them that it suddenly could?

    I’m delighted we’re not going to have to hike to Salthill all the same. Roscommon is much easier to get in and out of. From the teams point of view I’m sure the venue is irrelevant.

  41. Lads enjoy playing in Roscommon…….Roscommon last year, Sligo in 2012 and Roscommon 2011.

  42. The last time I was in the hyde there was a big block of toilets at the end of the stand in the Hyde and I doubt they got rid of them.

    Some of ye on here are never happy. Dont seem to want to travel anywhere. Beginning to sound like the Dubs in Croker. Im not sure about the capacity and what if the Ros minors got to the final then that will bring a decent local crowd also.

  43. An interesting (in my view :p ) enough statistic-

    If we do win the 5 in a row we would never have won a final in Pearse in that time.

    Since it was redeveloped in 03- and I’m open to correction here- I make it (before 2011) 6 Connacht finals we played in and half of which were in Pearse?

    Granted all against Galway

  44. I thought maybe sligo would go for castlebar so they could get more money out of it with the higher gate receipts? But fair play to them their not giving us an inch. Cant wait for the 19th now!

    Rossie shane, can i sit up at the top of the bus with ya? I promise i won’t complain about your driving 🙂 haha.

  45. My source is dead to me. Had me believing McHale Park was a cert.
    Mayo support would fill the Hyde alone. Going to be some disappointed heads. How could the Connaught council allow this? Crazy stuff.

  46. The Hyde was good enough for us for years, the toilets in Tuam were in a bad way in 1999 but we didn’t care because we won. Unfortunately we seem to be attracting new supporters who need to whine and moan a lot. Bit more positivity, it’s a great time to support Mayo!

  47. From a Sligo point of view, they probably feel that playing us in The Hyde gives them the best chance of winning. As we seen from the Sligo v Roscommon game they have a very shrewd management team in place. Playing the game in Castlebar or Salthill would have been an advantage to us. Games in Hyde Park tend to turn into dogfights rather than shootouts. We only beat Sligo by 2 points there in 2012 and the 2011 final was the same, we only won by 2 points again and last year it was only 1 point against Roscommon both times. So i’d say from a purely football aspect, Sligo have chosen The Hyde to maximise their potential of winning the game. We should be ready for a dogfight of a match. Roll on the game!

  48. Oh I dont know Juan about u sitting at the top of the bus. I would have thought a Mayo man wouldnt sit on our bus.

    I have a plan. If our minors got to the final then I could pretend that you were a water carrier and get u on the bus and in for free. The only thing is you would have to wear a bit of Roscommon gear. I would buy u a pint afterwards but its a bit of a dilemma for you.

  49. Expecting decent toilets in a ground (not Portaloos) for a provincial final isn’t exactly asking a lot. (But I’m pretty sure the couple of commenters above are men, it’s easy for ye, lads! ;-))

    More than happy to travel, the mileage on my car travelling to every away game we’ve played the length and breadth of the country for the past number of years will attest to that. Playing away from home holds no fear for Mayo. Sligo rightly are giving themselves every advantage – no problem with that whatsoever – but this ground was deemed unfit for purpose yesterday, yet is magically fit today, and that is the issue here.

    Once you remove season tickets from the capacity, you have 7.5k tickets to be split between Mayo and Sligo. Add to that mix a minor allocation if another county features. How is that fair, and how does it make any financial sense when both Pearse and Castlebar are more viable options, with decent facilities?

    At the end of the day, there’s a game to be won, we will be behind our lads no matter what in the Drive For Five but the day you can’t question the logic of a decision without being accused of ‘whining’ is a sad one.

  50. Actually tired of the nonsense talk from some here.Sorry WJ but some of it is tiresome.
    The Hyde it is.Lets move on…complaining abour Limerick didnt do much good did it?

  51. Good decision to host it in the Hyde. Salthill wasn’t suitable and having it in MacHale park would be unfair to Sligo.

    If Mayo win five in a row as is expected then 3 of those titles would be won in the Hyde making it a happy hunting ground. In regards to toilets I’m sure pot a loos will be brought in.

  52. I dont know what they can do with the Hyde to bring it up to standard before the 19th. All that matters is that we get the win.It could be a long time before we get a chance of 5 Connaught Titles in a row again. Now is the time. I will now be able to walk to the match.I would have gone wherever the match would be played. Come on Mayo.

  53. It makes one wonder what all these reports etc. are worth. It must be a brilliant event management plan this time. However knowing Connacht Council one cannot be surprised about anything they do. Still it’s a hell of a lot better than hauling all of Mayo and Sligo to Salthill. and the Galway’s can enjoy their Arts without uncouth GAA men bothering them, whatever their concept of Arts is.

  54. How many season tickets (incl Cairde) are there? Anyone have a ballpark number? Can’t find it online anywhere.

  55. Anne Marie there is a block of toilets up at the end of the stand in the Hyde. They even have toilet roll and all. Even running water to wash your hands. Cant believe ye didnt know this considering Mayo were there last year and in 2011 and 2012. If your in the stand or terrace in front of the stand you will be right beside them.

    Also the center coming in from the hospital side has toilets but that belongs to the local GAA club rather than the county board but I assume they will be open

    Failing that Anne Marie you will just have to hope its not a close match and you mightnt need to use the toilet.

  56. Good choice, it’s neutral and accessible unlike the “Times Square” fiasco of Salthill. I’m glad Sligo took advantage of the neutral venue rather than castlebar.
    Now that we know, we can plan and be prepared. Hup Mayo

  57. Around 5,000 season ticket holders I believe. Some of the comments in social media make me laugh…sunshine supporters spring to mind. There was and too many of us there in 2011 in the hurricane. Will follow this team anywhere. Suck it up we might not have days like this forever.

  58. Not like last year Shane eh? ???? Must be fairly well hidden, cos despite all my years going there I still have no idea where they are, or maybe the wall of Portaloos gave me the wrong impression entirely of yer fine ground!! Is there a toilet on that bus? ????

    Anyway, the Hyde it is, there’s a game to be won, and despite being utterly baffled at how a ground that was deemed unsafe and unfit for purpose yesterday has brought itself up to scratch, we’ll get on with it. It’s not a million miles away and when you take out the u-turn factor location-wise it does make sense for both teams. And like RosTown says above, all that counts is that we get the win.

    The Drive For Five in the Hyde is on!

  59. I remember that day Steve. Got absolutely soaked. Very small Mayo crowd there that day is right. Plus the Hyde has the same capacity as in 2012 and it went well that day. Wasnt even full and this years crowd should not be any bigger. Those reports about capacity do seem odd given the capacity of Castlebar depending on what website u read

  60. Yes Anne Marie there is a toilet on the bus but thats for Juan when he is carrying the water.

    The toilets are up the side the teams run out. You know where the covered stand finishes and the terrace in front runs further up the ground. Up that side is the block of toilets. That last time I used them a member of the “St Johns Ambulance” even asked me if I was ok on the way out. Now I had been out the night before but I didnt think I looked that sick.

    Great service. I got to use the toilet and had my blood pressure checked. I think thats other there since Enda and Co closed the A&E next door lol

  61. Advantage Sligo. Psychological edge of having ‘won’ the Hyde will be worth a few points to them.

    It will have the effect of focusing Mayo minds to a greater degree. Castlebar would have induced a certain amount of complacency. Mayo don’t like the Hyde (per James Horan and Aidan O’Shea) so they will have to be up for it.

    Looking at it objectively, how can the CC go ahead with a sub standard venue – Anne Marie’s point about facilities just illustrates the caveman mentality that must being in these all male discussions.

  62. Hyde is perfect for us. Shorter journey. Gets new players used to performing away from home for quarters. We’ve a great record winning there. Sligo conceded kickout battle to Roscommon. Tactically that loses the game versus Mayo. If they pick two small midfielders again we will win midfield.
    I noticed the Keith Higgins debate again few posts ago. The use Higgins as a 7th defender camp post logic n stats. The keep him at corner back camp rely on only two arguments “best corner back in the country” and “what would James ODonoghue have done to us?”.
    There is knowledge divide growing in GAA just like there was in baseball on what is the most effective way to use players. In this Sligo game we need to see a 7th defender preventing unmarked runs towards our full backline. Keith Higgins on a seasonal basis executes blocks more often than other candidates hence why I think better for the role than Kevin McGloughlin. Seasonal performance attributes are what give successful seasons. When we face a big target man like Neil Gallagher or Michael Murphy we need to move a big man back or put the 7th man in super close in direct double coverage.
    What would James ODonoghue to Chris Barrett or Tom Cunniffe or Ger Cafferkey if Keith Higgins is covering the slip past route to goal?

  63. it is still reduced capacity in Hyde – 20K.it used to be 30K before the safety report

    This match shows it would be beneficial to redevelop Hyde or Tuam. Tuam having the motorway soon.

  64. Thanks Catcol for the acknowledgement at least 😀 The more I think about it, the less bothered I am – the game is what’s important – but the decisions are just baffling.

    From what I can see, Sligo supporters seem quite happy with it though – so maybe some of you above have a point, let’s just get on with it and do the business. (On the pitch that is).

  65. I really don’t understand some of he moaning about people moaning , there will most certainly be a ticket shortage. This game could of got 25 k and if Ross minors are in the final , it will trim another 3 k off the allocation .

    Mc hale park should be the clones of Connacht , makes most sense in this whole farce every year. The only all seater in Ireland , class stand, great facilities , decent roads out for all five counties and a mighty provincial town.

  66. Thats great Rossie Shane i can have a good clatter of pints the night before and wont have to stop the bus for a ” wee wee” as the kids would say. I’ll throw on an oul tipperary top and sure people might’nt know the difference, ill enjoy that pint in rockfords later on then.

    The Hyde still beats pearse stadium hands down, dont think theirs any pyschological advantage to sligo as we all knew they had the call on this anyway. Sure we’d follow Mayo to hell an back, and maybe we already have….

  67. I sometimes wonder when the GAA will realise that improving facilities for spectators might pay a financial dividend. Hyde Park is a prime example of total inadequacy. I use the stand and enter off the Curraghboy road. I have never seen a sandwich for sale in the entire area. Or a burger. And coming from Dublin one does not see a dining facility nearer to Roscommon than Longford/Athlone.
    Part of the problem is that the GAA is constantly redeveloping old facilities which generally are too confined to provide proper spectator facilities.

  68. JP
    That is my thinking
    Only way to stop de best (Dubs best, Kerry 2nd best) is by a policy of containment.
    Keith has to be sacrificed as a CB for a 7th defender.
    Jesus, covering and attacking AT SPEED, at the same time!
    Fill de holes 1st, then hit on break – and Higgs to provide de “telling pass” inside!
    As regards venue, no big deal in de overall scheme of things.
    Get it right, no complacency and next step is de REAL 1ST STEP.
    Croker in August, with a serious plan to stop leaking goals tru a porous defence!
    Otherwise, debates about C.F. venue and SAM completely IRRELEVANT!
    Gwan the fuk Mayo!

  69. At this stage we just have to accept the decision to play in the game in the Hyde and focus on the task at hand. That doesn’t take away from the fact that the place is an absolute kip. Large parts of the ground should be condemned. Don’t see how it’s an advantage for Sligo? It’s a sh’thole for both teams.

  70. Let the players get on with the game. We are where we and all that.

    If we’re giving out about going to the Hyde so be it. All we heard since Saturday was precious supporters moaning about traffic going to Galway. The same people who wanted home advantage are those who moaned about playing Kerry at a neutral ground last Summer.

    If we’re good enough we’ll win it wherever it’s played.

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