GAA Basking in the Sunshine

They may have been decided by an aggregate 48 points and been seen as uncompetitive but the Leinster, Ulster and Munster Finals in the All Ireland Football Championship over the weekend still drew an attendance just a whisker below 100,000.

This was despite the competing attraction of the world cup and the summer heatwave which may have prompted thoughts of trip to the seaside as opposed to Pairc Uí Chaoimh, Clones and Croke Park.

Hill 16 was pretty well packed and laois supporters turned up in tens of thousands for the lainster Final while in Clones, Arlene foster became the first leader of the Democratic Unionist party to attend an Ulster final in support of her home county of Fermanagh.

The big guns all won through however and that sets up the first known pairings in the new All Ireland Series or Super 8’s as was continually referred over the weekend in winning speeches and media commentary.

Galway and kerry will face each other in one group while Dublin and Donegal will be drawn together in the other. Both of those games will take place at Croke Park in three weeks time.

Tyrone, Mayo, Cork and Monaghan will be bidding to join them through the final two rounds of the Qualifier series.

Last years overall attendance at the Football All Ireland Championship was 628,000, a 22 percent increase on the 2016 figures, despite no All Ireland Semi Final Replay.

It looks an absolute certainty that those figures will be rising again in 2018 as the summer unfolds before us.

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