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Large bags and backpacks banned from Croke Park for games and gigs

The new measures kick in this Sunday
The new measures kick in this Sunday

Sports and concert fans will no longer be able to bring large bags and backpacks into Croke Park after changes to security arrangements at the stadium.

The new security measures will apply for all match days and concerts at GAA headquarters.

It will come into effect from Sunday, June 25, when Dublin face Westmeath in the Leinster Football Championship semi-final.

A statement from the GAA said the decision was made following a review of safety procedures with the relevant authorities.

The statement added that smaller bags will be permitted, but may be subject to searches.

According to the Croke Park website, 'smaller bags' are those no bigger than A4 (21cm x 29.7cm) size.

Plastic bags smaller than A4 size will also be allowed.

People are urged not to bring bags at all where possible in order to avoid delays.

As well as the latter stages of the GAA Championships, Croke Park will also host concerts by Coldplay and U2 on July 8 and July 22 respectively.

The move follows a similar directive at the Aviva Stadium, where a 'no bag' policy has been in operation since the recent international friendly against Uruguay and for the 1-1 draw with Austria.

The stadium also warned that patrons may be searched at the entrance to Croke Park, which may include a "full body" pat down and/or use of hand-held metal detectors.

Earlier this month, the GAA announced that it was reviewing security arrangements in Croke Park ahead of a hectic four-month period when more than 750,000 people will attend games and concerts in the stadium.

The new measures come in the wake of the Manchester Arena atrocity where 22 people were killed by a suicide bomber last month.

"We are continuously modifying and enhancing our security plans. We work very closely with gardaí and the other statutory services at all times," said Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna.

"We are always very conscious of security and will be enhancing that approach. We certainly don't want people to be fearful.

"The public can rest assured that our security arrangements are the very best they can be."