Roscommon GAA officials are confident that Dr Hyde Park will be capable of hosting Sunday’s Allianz Football League Division 1 visit of Dublin – however, contingency plans are being put in place.
The Roscommon town pitch has suffered from poor drainage for years and already this season three senior inter-county games have had to switched to alternative venues.
Despite this GAA chiefs in the county are confident that they will be able to host the League and All-Ireland champions at the weekend.
“The game is going ahead in Hyde Park as far as we’re concerned,” said Roscommon County Board PRO Hugh Lynn
“It does need a bit of tender loving care from our groundsman Peter Murray and his team, work will be carried out, and we are of the belief that the game will be played at Hyde Park.”
Croke Park’s Central Competitions Control Committee (CCCC) expect the game to go ahead at the Hyde too, but they are putting in place contingency plans just in case.
If there is more rain during the week they may be forced to intervene and switch the fixture.
Roscommon lost to Mayo at their home ground last Sunday when match referee Maurice Deegan deemed the pitch playable.
There was standing water on parts of the playing surface, meaning that it barely passed the pre-game inspection.
In January, a Connacht League semi-final with Mayo was switched to MacHale Park in Castlebar. The Rossies’ Division 1 match with Down went to Pearse Park in Longford and their meeting with Monaghan was held in Kiltoom as the pitch at their main venue couldn’t cope.
Pearse Park isn’t an option this weekend as it hosts Longford and Westmeath on Sunday, and the Kiltoom capacity is too small for the expected crowd this weekend meaning O’Connor Park in Tullamore may be the nominated alternate venue.
The situation is made a little clearer by the Connacht Council's decision today to move Saturday's provincial Under-21 final between Roscommon and Mayo from Hyde Park to Markievicz Park in Sligo, where the action will get underway at 6.0.
It was feared that the Hyde wouldn't be able to hold two games in two days, which prompted this change of venues.
Hyde Park will close in June for the rest of the year for remedial work on the pitch, which will see the instillation of a new drainage system.
“Hyde Park was opened in the early seventies and it hasn’t always got the maintenance it deserved,” said Lynn, the Roscommon PRO.
“And people have to remember that in late 2015 and early 2016 we had unprecedented rain in county Roscommon.
“Today, on the 29 March, there are still parts or Roscommon flooded from what people saw on the television over Christmas.”
Meanwhile, the CCCC will today discuss matters arising from last weekend’s League action – and James McCarthy’s name is expected to be mentioned.
However, the Dublin wing-back is likely to escape any punishment following his altercation with Donegal’s Martin McElhinney.
McCarthy was sent off when he picked up a second yellow card arising out of the incident, with Donegal’s Michael Murphy also receiving the same treatment.
Television footage showed that the Dub’s hand appeared to make contact with the eye of McElhinney (pictured above), though it isn’t thought that he is facing a ban.