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Concerns for football fans’ safety at MacHale Park


Edwin McGreal

The GAA and Mayo County Council are to meet this week over concerns for the safety of fans attending floodlit Mayo football games in Castlebar.
Concerns were raised at last Thursday’s meeting of the Castlebar Municipal District of Mayo County Council over parking on unlit roads.
The N5 approach road to Castlebar from Ballyvary is a frequent parking spot on the days of big games in the nearby MacHale Park.
However, local councillors have raised fears over the suitability of the location for parking for evening games given that there is no street lighting in place.
With Mayo having played Kerry under lights earlier this month and due to play Dublin on Saturday evening, February 24 next, meetings are due to take place this week on the issue.
The matter was raised by Cllr Al McDonnell (FF) at last Thursday’s meeting. Cllr McDonnell said that while the evening games have been ‘a wonderful success’ in general, there were ‘health and safety concerns’ over parking on the N5 approach.
He said ‘neither Mayo County Council nor the gardaí want to be spoilsports’ but said temporary lighting ‘would be extremely welcome’.
“We don’t want an accident,” he said.
Mayo County Council Senior Engineer Ann Sweeney confirmed the council, including their Road Safety Officer Noel Gibbons, are to meet with the Mayo County GAA Board this week to discuss the issue and said ‘it wouldn’t be safe to park on the N5 (approach) in darkness’.

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