MEMORY LANE: The time Offaly fans brought Croke Park to a standstill with a sit down protest

Offaly Express Reporter

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The All Ireland Senior Hurling semi-finals took place at the weekend in front of empty stands in Croke Park. 

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Strangely in 1998, the stands in Croke Park were all but empty after an All-Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final but it was nothing to do with a global pandemic. 

On that occasion when Offaly faced Clare, referee Jimmy Cooney blew the whistle with two minutes remaining and set in train a series of events that ultimately ended with Offaly winning another All Ireland title. 

In protest at the early whistle, Offaly supporters emptied the stands and took to the pitch and refused to move for 90 minutes. The All-Ireland under-21 B final between Kerry and Kildare to be abandoned as a result. 

Offaly got a replay which they won by three points in Thurles and the rest, as they say, is history.