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Dublin, Republic of Ireland: Croke Park


Jeff Lenihan

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Today was the first day of two weeks I get to spend in Ireland. We got off the ferry at 5 am this morning loaded down with Campey equipment to show.

 

The visit today was to the center of Dublin and Croke Park, the home of the Gaelic Athletic Association. This massive stadium seats 80,000+, making it the third largest stadium in Europe behind Barcelona's Camp Nou and Wembley Stadium.

 

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Croke Park is home to traditional Gaelic games like hurling, camogie (a game like hurling typically played by women), Gaelic football, handball and rounders (I had to Google these to see what they all were!). While we were there, a community event was held where thousands of kids got the chance to play hurling and camogie on the pitch.

 

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Kids playing camogie at Croke Park.

 

We demonstrated some equipment for the groundsman, Stuart Wilson, and got a look around the park.The surface of the pitch looked immaculate today at the end of the season.

 

They will Koro a portion of it off next week for a concert and then take off another portion in July for an Ed Sheeran concert. After that, the bare areas will be sodded and Gaelic football will be played just five short days later.

 

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Hollow-tining the sidelines with a Toro ProCore...

 

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... and sweeping up with an Imants Rotosweep.

 

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The finished product after hollow-tining and sweeping.

 

Stuart faces the challenges of a multi functional facility. As you have read, it isn't just Gaelic games that are played here. Croke Park has seen football matches, concerts, and even American football games. Stuart and his team successfully handle this variety of events and keep the pitch looking mint all year round.

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