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Lights out for Mayo v Galway floodlit game

Sport
McHale Park

Lights must stay off for Galway game


MIKE FINNERTY
Sports Editor

The Mayo GAA Board have been forced to accept defeat in their bid to stage their opening National Football League tie against Galway under floodlights in Castlebar.
The glamour fixture at the redeveloped McHale Park had been pencilled in for Saturday evening, February 6, but a planning issue means that the match must now be played during daylight hours.
Castlebar Town Council’s decision to grant retention planning permission for the McHale Park development has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála by Peter Sweetman and Associates, on behalf of the McHale Road Residents Association.
This appeal also concerns the use of floodlights at McHale Park so the mouth-watering local derby between John O’Mahony’s Mayo and Joe Kernan’s Galway is now set to go ahead on Sunday, February 7 instead.
“The floodlights won’t be switched on at McHale Park until all the relevant planning issues have been resolved,” said Mayo GAA Chairman, James Waldron.
“We’re disappointed that we won’t get a chance to showcase our floodlights on the Saturday night,” he added. “Plus, I think a game between Mayo and Galway under lights would have brought a much bigger crowd to Castlebar than an afternoon fixture.”
Setanta Sports had also been due to show the match as part of their coverage of the opening night’s action in the National Football League.
Approximately €13m has been spent on the development work at McHale Park so far but the project has been dogged by planning issues and disputes with local Councillors and residents.