Fianna Fáil TD Fiona O’Loughlin has backed the stance taken by the Kildare GAA County Board over the venue for Saturday’s All-Ireland qualifier against Mayo.

Deputy O’Loughlin said, “Kildare came out of the draw first and according to the rules set by GAA Headquarters the All-Ireland qualifier should be played in St Conleth’s Park, Kildare’s home grounds. It’s deplorable that GAA Headquarters are now trying to issue a diktat at the last moment demanding that the venue be changed to Croke Park.

“Everyone in Kildare stands behind the stance taken by the County Board. As far as the Lillywhites are concerned, it’s either Newbridge or nowhere for the All-Ireland qualifier. GAA Headquarters need to recognise that they have made a mistake on this one and have misread the public mood. They should honour their commitments and abide by their own rules. The ball must be thrown-in in St Conleth’s Park on Saturday.

“Many Kildare and Mayo fans have already made travel arrangements on the basis that the game will be held in Newbridge. St Conleth’s Park has already hosted Division 1 fixtures this year and Newbridge is perfectly capable of accommodating the crowd expected to attend the game.

“The people of Newbridge are geared up and ready to provide the highest level of hospitality for this game and ensure everyone has a good day out. Local businesses are also looking forward to the boost to the local economy that this game will provide,”