A huge turnout of more than 27,000 is expected on Saturday for the final Super 8 group game between Mayo and Donegal at Elvery’s MacHale Park in Castlebar and fans are being urged to ‘Park Smart – Park Safe’.
The stakes are high with an All Ireland Semi-Final place awaiting the winners but the contest has created significant health and safety concerns. These are due to GAA fans parking on the hard shoulder of the N5 as it approaches Castlebar with concerns being raised of possible injuries, even death, as fans leave and return to their vehicles in the late evening. The game has a 6pm throw-in.
Parking by fans along the N5 is not recommended for health and safety reasons and there will be ample free car parking for fans within the environs of Castlebar itself.
Not every motorist along the N5 on Saturday evening will realise there is a football match on and vehicles causing an obstruction or dangerously parked on Saturday evening will be towed away. Extra gardaí will be on duty to enforce the stricter parking policy for Saturday’s game.
Donegal County Council’s Road Safety Officer Brian O’Donnell said, “As there will be a large volume of traffic on the roads for the game, we urge everyone to take care and to ensure that their trip to this great sporting occasion does not end in tragedy. Please take the message seriously about safe parking and avail of the car parking available in Castlebar and we wish everyone a safe journey to and from the game.”
Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council Noel Gibbons, added “We would advise all fans who are attending the game to avail of official car parking spaces which are available and highlighted on the map being circulated and if you’re walking, please make yourself visible to other road users.”