With a crowd of more than 27,000 expected in Castlebar tomorrow (Saturday ) for the final Super 8 group game between Mayo and Donegal in MacHale Park - those driving to the game are being asked to 'park smart'.
Gardai, the GAA and Mayo and Donegal County Councils, are working together to deliver a message to all football fans to ‘Park Smart - Park Safe’ as the contest, which has a thrown-in time of 6pm, has raised health and safety concerns around GAA fans parking on the hard shoulder of the N5 national primary route on approach routes to Castlebar.
Parking along the N5 is not recommended for health and safety reasons and with concerns being raised of possible injuries - even death - as fans leave and return to their vehicles in the late evening, GAA supporters are advised that there will be ample free car parking within the environs of Castlebar itself. Not every motorist along the N5 on Saturday evening will be aware there is a football match on and gardai have warned that vehicles causing an obstruction or that are dangerously parked on Saturday evening will be towed away. Extra gardai will also be on duty to enforce the stricter parking policy for Saturday’s game.
Mayo County Council Road Safety Officer, Noel Gibbons, said: "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 are walking, please make yourself visible to other road users."
Road Safety Officer with Donegal County Council, Brian O’Donnell, added: "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 - we wish everyone a safe journey to and from the game."