Hogan Stand reported yesterday afternoon, a story repeated in this morning’s Indo, that McHale Park is now likely to okayed as the venue for our upcoming Connacht semi-final with the Rossies on Saturday fortnight. The inspectors that showed up at Castlebar earlier in the week were the mob from Connacht Council and not the Health and Safety brigade that I alluded to the other day. The tyre-kickers did, however, raise some H&S issues which they want to see sorted out when they come back to make a final inspection of the ground next Thursday, at which point a definitive decision is set to be made about where the match on the 20th will be played.
I’d reckon it’s now at least 95% sure to go ahead at McHale Park: if there were serious doubts about the ground’s readiness then this week would surely have been the time to make the decision to switch the game to Hyde Park. Whatever issues were raised by the Connacht Council lads must be ones that the builders will be able to sort out by next week. I can’t see them taking a decision to change the venue a little over a week ahead of the game unless there are very strong reasons for doing so and, from the sounds of it, it doesn’t appear as if there are. Our first championship clash with the Rossies at McHale Park since the 2004 Connacht final looks set, then, to be going ahead as planned.