Ed puts Páirc Uí Chaoimh clash to bed

This year’s Kerry v Cork champioshop clash has been moved to Pairc Uí Rinn

A pop star has forced GAA bosses to switch Kerry’s Munster football semi-final clash with old rivals Cork to the severely limited capacity Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday, May 7.

Ed Sheeran is due to perform in concert at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on April 28 and 29 and there are concerns that the playing surface will not have been restored to pristine condition in time for the big game.

Cork GAA chiefs today confirmed the new arrangement and it has also required the Cork v Munster Hurling Championship clash to be moved to Semple Stadium, Thurles on the weekend before.

It is understood that commercial concerns have had to be taken into account and the spin-off from two Ed Sheeran concerts would be quite substantial given the cost of redeveloping Páirc Uí Chaoimh which reopened in 2017.

The three Kerry v Cork encounters from 2015-2017 were played in Fitzgerald Stadium

The current capacity at Páirc Uí Rinn is 11,400 – similar to Austin Stack Park in Tralee – but in terms of catering for a bumper attendance expected at a Munster Championship encounter, the venue falls well short of what could be offered in Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney or Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Cork GAA hopes that ongoing work at Pairc Uí Rinn will increase capacity to closer to 15,000 in time for the Kerry game.

During the reconstruction of Páirc Uí Chaoimh, three Cork-Kerry provincial games were staged in Killarney from 2015 to 2017 but, by agreement, Páirc Uí Chaoimh hosted the three games between 2018, 2019 and 2020 before the usual home and away arrangement resumed in Killarney during lockdown last July.