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'It's a stadium built for Gaelic Games, first and foremost. That has to be the priority.'

The Croke Park surface has come under the spotlight in recent weeks.

JIM GAVIN FEELS that the usage of Croke Park for GAA matches must be the priority for the stadium and that the recent schedule of events there needs to be reflected on.

A general view of Croke Park Dublin head back to Croke Park on Saturday to face Monaghan. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The condition of the pitch in Croke Park came under the spotlight during the month of July.

Gavin was not happy after the Leinster football final against Kildare with the surface and Roscommon manager Kevin McStay was critical last Sunday.

A section of the pitch near Hill 16 has been torn up and relaid twice during the month after the Coldplay and U2 concerts.

Croke Park July Schedule

  • 2 July – Leinster senior and minor hurling finals
  • 8 July – Coldplay
  • 16 July – Leinster senior and minor football finals
  • 22 July – U2
  • 29 July – Down v Monaghan and Kildare v Armagh football qualifiers
  • 30 July – Kerry v Galway and Mayo v Roscommon football quarter-finals

Gavin revealed yesterday he had not heard McStay’s comments but is convinced the schedule needs to be examined again.

“I didn’t hear, (after) the Roscommon game, was it? I just think they have to have a look at the schedule.

“It’s a stadium built for Gaelic Games, first and foremost. That has to be the priority.

“That’s for Croke Park to reflect on, to impart management and leadership within the GAA to say what’s right for the games.

“It is what it is, you’d hope that Croke Park will reflect on it.”

Jim Gavin Dublin football manager Jim Gavin. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final against Monaghan, Gavin was not keen to explore the subject further and is focused on steering Dublin to an eighth successive All-Ireland semi-final.

“For me, with a couple of days to go to the game, it is what it is and the teams that will be involved in the hurling and football there over the weekend will just have to deal with it.

“Going into the game we just have to focus on being right for it and deal with whatever conditions are there.”

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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