Mayo county secretary Sean Feeney has said that a shock defeat against London last weekend could have resulted in a loss of up to €1m for the GAA and the business community in Castlebar.
The Western side got a real fright against the exiles last Sunday and were taken to extra time,before they eventually ran out victors on a scoreline of 0-19 to 2-10. The win saw James Horan’s men set up Connacht semi-final against Galway in McHale Park in Castlebar.
That game is fixed for on June 26, and is expected to attract around 25,000 people, producing gate receipts of up to €500,000, with a similar amount being spent in the town on the day.
Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Feeney said: “It would have been detrimental for a lot of people if we hadn’t managed to win in London. If you think about the 25,000 people that are expected in McHale Park for the Galway game, all the businesses in the town of Castlebar would miss out on that business. The Connacht Council would have suffered a loss too. The semi-final would have been Galway v London in Galway and their earnings would have been hit too.”
“There is no way that a Galway-London semi-final could have attracted as many fans as Mayo-Galway but at least now we can prepare for that,” added Feeney.