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GAA defends decision to fence off Hill 16

Published 09/08/2010

The GAA has defended its |decision to fence off Croke Park's Hill 16.

The height of the barriers is to be raised by almost two metres to 2.8 metres high, following consultations with the Association's management committee.

The recommendation was made following a safety review, carried out in the wake of the pitch invasion after last month's controversial Leinster SFC final when Co Tyrone referee Martin Sludden was attacked by Louth supporters.

“Traditionally, the Hill is the first area to invade the pitch. Once that breaks, the rest of the park goes,” said GAA spokesman Alan Milton.

“But this is not a knee-jerk reaction to the Leinster final, it's been an ongoing review.

“What happened with the |

referee after the Louth-Meath match was a once-off because the referee stayed on the field.”

Meanwhile, it was reported |yesterday in the Sunday Tribune that Mr Sludden has given gardai a detailed statement of the attack.

While as many as six people appeared to assault the referee, the Tribune stated that four men will be charged in relation to the attack.

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