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Croke Park fence 'only short-term measure'

The controversial Hill 16 fence due to be erected in Dublin’s Croke Park after tomorrow's All-Ireland semi-final clash will only be "a short-term" measure, the GAA said last night.

The nine-foot barrier has drawn criticism from fans who claim it will hinder the view from the Hill and endanger spectators if there is a crush.

Several high profile GAA figures — including Dublin manager Pat Gilroy — have backed the fence.

But GAA director of communications Alan Milton last night revealed the barrier would be removed as soon as fans refrained from pitch invasions.

"It would be our hope to have the fencing down in years to come," he said.

"We tried pursuing an educational process to highlight the dangers of pitch invasions, but that didn't work.

"We hope this will be a short-term solution. Hopefully, the practice of having the presentation (of the cup) in the middle of the field will become law and, when that happens, there will be no need for a barrier.

"It might take a couple of seasons, but the intention is to change a 50-year culture in a very short space of time."

Tomorrow's clash between Dublin and Cork's footballers is set to attract the largest crowd of the season so far.

Almost all of the 82,000 tickets have been snapped up, with more than 15,000 Rebel County fans expected to make the journey to the Republic’s capital.

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