LOCAL HERO Castlebar people will be able to watch their local Mitchels player Paddy Durcan on the big screen in the county town. Durcan will be taking on the likes of Paddy Andrews from Dublin again on Sunday afternoon. Pic: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
FEARS that the screening of the All-Ireland football final on a big screen in Castlebar was to be cancelled have been allayed but the location has now moved from The Mall to the town centre.
The proposal to erect a big screen on The Mall was first put forward by the Spencer Street Traders and the idea was met with a positive reaction among ticketless Mayo fans on social media.
The plans to erect a big screen looked to be in jeopardy when logistical problems over stewarding meant the traders had to abandon their plans. However, the Love Castlebar community group have taken over the reigns and with the support of five local businesses – Staunton’s Pharmacy, Elvery’s, McGrath Waste, Shaw’s Commercial and Multi-Colour Corporation (Cashin Print) - they were able to secure the finances to pay for full-time stewards.
Helen O’Hara of Love Castlebar told The Mayo News that it was ‘100 percent all systems go’ for this Sunday’s game but the wet weather meant that The Mall was not suitable. The big screen will now be erected in Hoban’s Car Park off Main Street.
“The Mall is the ideal location but we inspected the sod today [Monday] and it is already holding water. If we were to put the big screen there for Sunday, I would be afraid it could end up like Glastonbury. Instead we have decided to move it into the town centre and after looking at the audio system we decided the best place for the big screen was Hoban’s Car Park,” she said.
A big screen was installed in Eyre Square in Galway City to show the Galway V Waterford All Ireland hurling final and attracted a crowd close to 5,000. Helen said that they were not expecting that size of a crowd but if they were to get 3,000 Mayo fans in the one location, it would ‘feel like being in the Hogan Stand’.
She added that the occasion will create a brilliant atmosphere around Castlebar and she is tempted to give up her chances of getting an All-Ireland ticket to watch it in Castlebar.
“I have been to every All-Ireland final since 1989 and this is the first year I would give up the hunt for a ticket and instead enjoy the atmosphere here. There are so many young people who would love to get to the final but won’t and having so many people in one location watching the game will create that match atmosphere. The town has the facilities to cater for this and it will be an incredible occasion.”
Hoban’s Car Park will be closed from 7pm on Saturday night and will be open 30 minutes before the Minor final which has a 1.15pm throw-in.