THE outpouring of emotion amid celebratory scenes on the Gaelic Grounds pitch at the final whistle of the Munster hurling final is one of the iconic images of summer 2013. However, Limerick GAA is now counting the cost of the pitch invasion that greeted Limerick’s first Munster SHC title since 1996.
The Limerick Leader has learned that three people have taken personal injury claims against the GAA after ‘falls or slips’ on the field as close to 30,000 Limerick fans cheered their new hurling heroes.
As well as the financial hit to the GAA, the claims are also likely to ensure that the heralded scenes of celebration are stamped out in future years at the Limerick GAA headquarters.
“The pitch invasion at the Gaelic Grounds after the Munster senior hurling final has produced a number of claims against the stadium - obviously this is very disappointing after what was a memorable day,” said Limerick GAA secretary, confirming the personal injury claims had been lodged against their insurance.
“To see the scenes after the game was fantastic in particular the crowd swarming on to the pitch. It really epitomised all that is good about the GAA,” said O’Riordan.
But national GAA bosses have continually expressed concerns at supporters racing onto the field of play and are in favour of all grounds following procedures in Croke Park, where pitch invasions now appear a thing of the past.
“What will happen now is that for big games in the Gaelic Grounds, the front row of seats will have to be occupied by stewards and there will have to be more stewarding,” said a disappointed O’Riordan.
“The cost of insurance is already substantial and this will only force up the cost to us,” said the secretary of the injury claims made after the July pitch invasion. Just last weekend, Limerick GAA chairman Oliver Mann revealed the fans invasion was his “image of 2013”.
Confirmation of the personal injury claims against the GAA stadium comes just weeks after Limerick was revealed as the highest claiming county per person in Ireland for personal injury claims.
Figures released for the first six months of 2013 indicate that the county of Limerick accounted for 7% of personal injury awards in Ireland, despite having just 4.2% of the population.
In total, there were 383 personal injury claims made in Limerick, winning €7,977,234 in compensation.
The average payout in Limerick was €20,828.