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LGFA and TG4 look to smash attendance records as All-Ireland draw made

The road to Croke Park begins on 23 July.

Last year's final set a new European record.
Last year's final set a new European record.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

AFTER ATTRACTING THE highest attendance at a European female sporting event last year, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association are hoping to change the record in 2016.

More than 31,000 turned out for the All-Ireland ladies football finals last September with the attendance trumping the previous record held by the 2015 Women’s FA Cup final.

An official crowd of 31,082 were inside Croke Park for the triple-header, which saw Cork clinch another five-in-a-row and a 10th All-Ireland title.

And the LGFA and sponsors TG4 have urged supporters to get behind their county this summer after the draw for the 2016 All-Ireland championship was made yesterday.

LGFA President, Marie Hickey, says the target is to set their own record attendance at a final by beating the 33,000 supporters who watched the 2001 decider between Laois and Mayo.

“In the past we have had many people comment on our behalf about the lack of coverage that we receive in the media or about the treatment that our players get,” Hickey said.

Rena Buckley lifts the Brendan Martin Cup Cork are going in search of their 11th All-Ireland title since 2005. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“However, now is the time to ‘Change the Record’. It is time to stop depending on outside influences but instead to look inwards and begin rallying our own support base of over 170,000 members.

“We have enough members to fill Croke Park twice over so we would hope that breaking our own attendance record is something that we can achieve. It is also important that we see attendances begin to increase in the earlier rounds and that we see full stands and terraces as such visual evidence of our popularity can’t be ignored.

“Increased attendances have huge positive impacts throughout our sport including helping to make revenue available to our county boards allowing them to provide the resources that are necessary for our players to perform to their highest level on the pitch.”

The 2016 All-Ireland championship gets underway on 23 July with the first preliminary round and qualifier round draws made at GAA HQ with Minister for Sport Patrick O’Donovan in attendance.

TG4 will once again have extensive coverage of the championship, beginning on the weekend of 30 July with the broadcaster showing 17 matches across the grades live this summer.

TG4 Intermediate Championship Draw

Preliminary Round- to be played weekend of July 23rd

  • Roscommon v Wicklow
  • Limerick v Offaly

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Qualifier Round

  • Winner of Roscommon v Wicklow will play Down
  • Winner of Limerick v Offaly will play losers of TG4 Munster Final
  • Louth v Wexford
  • Fermanagh v Leitrim

TG4 Senior Championship Draw

Preliminary Round

  • Armagh v Waterford

Qualifier Round

  • Winner of Armagh v Waterford will play Kerry
  • Westmeath v Meath
  • Donegal v Galway
  • Laois v Cavan

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‘You have to look at Dublin, they are probably the best team to grace a football field’

About the author:

Ryan Bailey

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