The Leinster Council has announced that 8,000 spectators will be permitted to attend their provincial senior hurling semi-finals at Croke Park this Saturday.

Up to now just 200 spectators have been allowed attend games in the Republic of Ireland but the limit has now been raised considerably following negotiations between county and provincial GAA bosses and the Government.

RTÉ Sport understands that Minster of State for Sport Jack Chambers was also in favour of the move.

There had been much criticism over the weekend, with crowds of only 200 allowed at venues like Semple Stadium while 500 were allowed attend games in the six counties.

Discussions were held at central GAA level today once it was clear that the increase would be granted and it was decided to go with a staggered double-header at the Jones Road venue, which has a normal maximum capacity of 82,000.

The match between Dublin and Galway will have a throw-in time of 2pm with the meeting of Kilkenny and Wexford following it at 4.30pm.

The GAA said that ticketing details and relevant information will be confirmed tomorrow.

Assuming all 8,000 tickets are sold, the crowd will be the largest at a sporting event in the Republic of Ireland since Covid-19 restrictions were introduced last year.