Hurling fans will be allowed in Thurles for Cork and Limerick clash in July

600 will be at Turner's Cross for Cork City league match on June 11
Hurling fans will be allowed in Thurles for Cork and Limerick clash in July

Cork fans celebrate after Luke Meade hit the first goal against Clare in 2018 at Thurles. Picture: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SUPPORTERS will begin to return to Irish sporting events from next month, including a league game at Turner's Cross and the Munster hurling semi-final on July 3.

A total of 600 will be permitted to attend Cork City's league game against Cabinteely on Friday, June 11.

The First Division tie is one of a number of sporting events where the return of spectators to sporting events on a larger scale will be trialled, along with the camogie and ladies football league finals in June 20 and 26 respectively.

At a far larger venue, 3,000 will be at Croke Park, which provides an added incentive for the Cork teams to progress to the latter stages of those competitions. 

From June 7, when underage and amateur sporting teams can play outdoor matches again, the government will allow 100 to be present, aside from venues with a minimum capacity of 5,000, where 200 will be allowed. 

Semple Stadium will see crowds in the stands for the Munster hurling semi-final between Cork and Limerick on Saturday, July 3, though the final figure will only be confirmed in June. The figures rise to 200 and 500 from July 5. 

It nows appear likely that the Munster senior hurling and football finals will be played in front of crowds, along with the minor and U20 competitions which throw in from mid-July. The government will liaise with the Association and the provincial council to decide how many will be there for the eagerly-awaited clashes.

These changes will also help the Cork County Board when the delayed 2020 county finals go ahead, along with underage soccer cup finals.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said: "There will also be a number of pilot sporting and cultural events taking place in June and early July, to test the logistical requirements for further reopening. 

"It is important to emphasise that we are able to take these steps because our overall strategy is working. And because all of you have made the right choices."

Cork City supporters will return to Turner's Cross on a trial basis from June 11 when the Rebel Army host Cabinteely. Picture: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Cork City supporters will return to Turner's Cross on a trial basis from June 11 when the Rebel Army host Cabinteely. Picture: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

In a statement, the LGFA welcomed the news.

"The Ladies Gaelic Football Association is pleased to confirm that the Lidl National League Division 1 and 2 Finals will form the basis of a Government-approved test event for spectators at Croke Park on Saturday, June 26.

"The LGFA wishes to place on the record its thanks to the Working Group for return of spectators to stadia, Ministers Catherine Martin and Jack Chambers, and to our colleagues at Croke Park for making the stadium available on that date.

"We are very much looking forward to welcoming spectators to Croke Park on Saturday, June 26, for what should be a very special occasion."

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