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Laois GAA to pause live streaming as crowds set to return to matches

Laois GAA have announced that they will be pausing the live streaming championship matches on Laois TV until the semi final stages of the championships.

Laois GAA TV began live streaming football and hurling games last year as Covid-19 reduced, and sometimes outright banned, the amount of fans who could attend.

Over the last few weeks, Laois GAA have permitted 500 spectators into O’Moore Park for the club championship matches.

However, from today, government guidelines permit 50% of the capacity of an outdoor area.

O’Moore Park has a capacity of 22,000 – 6,500 of which is in the stand – meaning Laois GAA can now permit 3,250 people into the stand for each game.

Double or triple headers in O’Moore Park have also not taken place in the last year with two hours between matches in the stadium to allow for everyone to leave after each individual game.

But these will now be permitted once again – with the first coming this Saturday with back-to-back Round 2 SHC games in the afternoon.

Laois TV’s live streaming service has proved to be a huge hit and turned a big profit in 2020.

Under the direction of PRO Paul Dargan, the games were streamed by John Moynihan from All Rounder Sport.

The 2020 Laois GAA Accounts show that the live streaming income was €70,580 with expenses amount to €15,660 – leaving a profit of almost €50,000.

While the bulk of that streaming was done for match that had no or a very reduced number of spectators physically at the games, the service was still believed to be very popular so far this season.

Laois GAA Chairman Peter O’Neill made the announcement before the Round 2 SFC draw last night.

He said: “This will probably be the last live broadcast you will see from MW Hire O’Moore Park for a while as we hope to welcome all spectators back to matches from Monday.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped make Laois GAA TV the success that it has been.

“Paul Dargan our PRO, John Moynihan from All Rounder Sport and all of our commentators and co-commentators.

“We now look forward to the safe return of far greater numbers of supporters.

“But we will be back for the semi finals and finals of our championships.

“Matches will remain all-ticket affairs and these must be purchased online in advance of the games.”

SEE ALSO – Draw made for Round 2 of the Laois Senior Football Championship

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.