BY KIERAN McCARTHY
PÁIRC Uí Rinn will likely be packed to the rafters when Cork host Kerry in a Munster SFC semi-final on Saturday, May 7th after the Cork County Board confirmed the Munster derby won’t be played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Pop star Ed Sheeran is playing two concerts at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on April 28th and 29th, and it means that two Cork football and hurling championship games must be moved as the stadium won’t be available.
Kieran Kingston’s hurlers will play their Munster Senior Hurling Championship game against Limerick at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on April 17th, but Cork GAA chiefs have confirmed that the stadium will then switch to concert mode for the Ed Sheeran concerts.
Cork hurlers’ home Munster SHC tie with Clare has now been moved to Semple Stadium in Thurles on May 1st, while the footballers’ Munster SFC semi-final against Kerry will be played at Páirc Uí Rinn on May 7th, throw-in time to be confirmed.
‘The management of both the hurling and football teams have been consulted throughout the process of arranging the fixtures, and Cork GAA would like to thank them for their support,’ a Cork GAA statement read, and it also outlined that Páirc Uí Chaoimh will host a number of inter-county games in the weeks ahead.
This Saturday, 5th, sees a double-header as Cork hurlers take on Clare (5pm) followed by the footballers’ Division 2 game with the Banner County (7pm). The Cork footballers are home to Galway at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday, February 26th (5pm), and this will be preceded by a Cork camogie fixture. On March 5th, the Cork hurlers host Galway in the league at Páirc Uí Chaoimh (7pm) and the footballers are back in action there on Sunday, March 20th against Down (1pm). Then it’s Cork v Limerick in the Munster SHC on Sunday, April 17th (4pm) ahead of the Ed Sheeran concerts.
The last time the Cork footballers played Kerry in Páirc Uí Rinn was a Division 1 league game in March 2015 when the Rebels won 3-17 to 2-9 thanks to two goals from John O'Rourke (2) and Colm O’Neill. The capacity of Páirc Uí Rinn is just over 11,000 but it could be upgraded to 15,000.