| 16.3°C Dublin

'Raging' Anger at video of GAA fans celebrating hours after minister defends 40,000 crowd at Croke Park

A number of people can be seen drinking pints, while others are gathered to talk to friends or weaving their way through the match crowd.

Close

The footage comes just hours after Minister Simon Coveney defended the 40,000 attendance at Croke Park amid frustration that restrictions have not yet been eased for the entertainment and live events industry. Photo: Julian Behal

The footage comes just hours after Minister Simon Coveney defended the 40,000 attendance at Croke Park amid frustration that restrictions have not yet been eased for the entertainment and live events industry. Photo: Julian Behal

The footage comes just hours after Minister Simon Coveney defended the 40,000 attendance at Croke Park amid frustration that restrictions have not yet been eased for the entertainment and live events industry. Photo: Julian Behal

Respected figures in the entertainment industry have expressed their anger and frustration at a video of fans gathered outside Croke Park before the All-Ireland senior hurling final today. 

The video, which is being shared widely on Twitter by a music photographer, shows crowds gathered on Portland Place this afternoon.

A number of people can be seen drinking pints, while others are gathered to talk to friends or weaving their way through the match crowd.

It has been viewed tens of thousands of times online, just hours after Minister Coveney defended the 40,000 crowd in attendance at Croke Park today, as restrictions have not yet been eased for the entertainment and live events industry.

Sharing the video, fiddler and singer Niamh Dunne wrote; “I’m watching and (obviously!) LOVING the match, but I also did an outdoor gig last night and only 80 people were allowed attend, all masked, all two metres apart. It’s my third gig in front of people in two years. The other gigs were on the north and abroad. It’s hard not to be raging.”

Musician Denice Doyle added; “How can any of us in the Arts and Entertainment industry be expected to stomach these scenes?

“I live just a stones throw away from Croke Park and this is just utterly heartbreaking! Shame on our government. Shame on you!”

And Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon wrote; “Delighted for all GAA fans that attendance at matches is possible again, but it’s simply no longer credible to argue that what’s happening in Dublin today is safer than musicians performing to a couple of hundred people indoors. It’s not.”

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One earlier in the day, Minister Coveney said there was a “big difference” between All-Ireland final day and entertainment events.

“There’s a big difference, it’s outside, it’s structured, it’s in a very large stadium. People will be apart in terms of social distancing and wearing masks,” he said.

“We have worked with sporting organisations to put a protocol in place to allow big events like this to happen, but happen in a way that’s controlled and managed and that’s what will happen in Croke Park today.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"And I hope it’ll be a very special day, it certainly will be for Cork people and Limerick people.”

He continued; “But I hope it’s also a signal and an indication that we can live with Covid-19 and, despite the risk, we can organise big events.

"But we do need to do it in a managed and cautious and structured way.

"It’s the first time in a very long time that this number of people will be in the same place.”

The minister was at Croke Park to cheer on his home county and said it was a “privilege” to attend the game.

"As a Cork person it’s a privilege to be there because there are many thousands of Cork people listening to this who wish they had a ticket and unfortunately, they don’t,” he said.

Speaking about Covid-19, Mr Coveney said he is concerned about the growing number of people in hospital with Covid-19.

As of this morning there are currently 314 people in hospitals across the country with the disease.

“I think we are already concerned and that is why the Government is cautious.

"I know there’s a huge amount of frustration and impatience in the public wanting to see remaining restrictions removed.

“The reason why we’re being cautious, and the Cabinet subcommittee is meeting regularly in order to bring forward proposals for the Cabinet to consider, is that for a number of days now the number of people who have tested positive is well over 2,000.

"We’ve seen now the numbers in hospital over 300, and the numbers in ICU over 50, so the Delta variant is dangerous it’s spreading.

“We have a much stronger shield to protect the public now than we’ve ever had over 90pc of adults are now vaccinated in Ireland," he added.

When asked if the growing case numbers will result in further delays to the reopening of the arts industry, he said: “We’ve said in the next week or so before the end of this month, the Government will sign off on a roadmap for September and well into October, so that we can give everybody that’s interested to hear a very clear picture of times and dates and scheduling for the removal of restrictions.

“There are sectors like the live sector and the hospitality sector who are anxiously waiting for that road map and they’re rightly asking for certainty and dates for the future that they can plan for.

“We will give them that certainty before the end of August, that is the commitment from Government.”

The minister added he suspects a date in September will mark the reopening of the events industry.

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Privacy