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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 23 September, 2018
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How Croke Park stayed green while the rest of the country was covered in a blanket of snow

Undersoil heating at the stadium was turned ‘on for the duration of the cold snap,’ according to stadium director Peter McKenna.

dsdsds Source: IrishAirCorps/Twitter

THE CROKE PARK pitch has come through Storm Emma and the Beast from the East in pristine condition, largely due to the undersoil heating in the stadium.

While the rest of the country was painted white after the worst snow since 1982, it didn’t take long for the Croke Park turf to return to its customary shade of green.

The pitch technology at HQ can be controlled remotely and includes Forced Air Ventilation Vacuum System (FAVVS) undersoil heating, which pulls moisture through the pitch during wet spells.

“We have undersoil heating so it was on for the duration of the cold snap,” stadium director Peter McKenna explained to The42.

“Snow in itself, if it’s there only for a short time, can actually be good to grass.

“It does need to melt. But it’s a process that happens rather quickly which was fantastic.

“Once it melts, it drains off the pitch like heavy rain. We’re ideally suited for that. I suppose it’s one of the advantages of having a state of the art surface and a very, very good grounds team.

“On the video of the Irish Air Corp flight over the city, you can see the whole of the city is covered in snow with the exception of Croke Park which is green.”

McKenna confirmed that surface would have been able to host the postponed Dublin-Kerry football league clash last Saturday night, but the decision to call it off was made with supporters in mind.

“We were working just to be ready if the game was held,” he said.

“But obviously with people coming from Kerry, there have been too much [travel] impediments for supporters on the way up.”

The re-fixed Division 1 tie between Dublin and Kerry will instead take place on Sunday at 4pm, while the postponed All-Ireland camogie senior and intermediate club finals have been rescheduled for 19 March.

The ladies football Division 1 game between Dublin and Kerry which was also called off last weekend has been re-fixed for the weekend of 7/8 April.

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Kevin O'Brien

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