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Connacht Final venue up in the air

Final venue TBC

Connacht Final venue up in air after Sligo’s shock win

Mike Finnerty

THIS year’s Connacht Senior Football Final will be played at a neutral venue — regardless of who provides the opposition to surprise finalists Sligo.
Mayo and Leitrim meet in the second provincial semi-final on Sunday week next in Castlebar, with the venue for the decider on Sunday, July 15 to be decided afterwards.
If defending champions Mayo reach their fourth final in five years then they will get to choose whether their clash with Sligo will be played in Hyde Park, Roscommon or Pearse Stadium, Galway.
And if Leitrim win, they will also get to pick where their novel finale with the Yeats County would be played with a potential windfall for McHale Park, Castlebar in the pipeline if it was chosen to host the showpiece game in the province.
There had been widespread speculation last weekend, after Galway were dumped out of the Nestor Cup race by Sligo, that a Mayo victory over Leitrim would mean a Connacht Final in Castlebar.
However, Connacht GAA Council Secretary, John Prenty confirmed last night that an agreement dating back to 1997 means that any provincial final involving Sligo and/or Leitrim would be played at a neutral ground with a capacity of more than 20,000.
Pearse Stadium, Hyde Park and McHale Park are the only three venues that fit this criteria as the capacities of both Markievicz Park in Sligo and Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon are both below that figure.

Kenny to open McHale Park

MEANWHILE, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., is to perform the official opening of the redeveloped McHale Park, Castlebar on Sunday, June 24.
The formalities will take place at 2.55pm, after the Connacht Minor football championship match between Mayo and Sligo which starts at 1.30pm.
The Connacht SFC semi-final between Mayo and Leitrim throws-in at 3.30pm.
Mayo GAA chiefs are expecting a crowd of approximately 10,000 on the day.

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