Paddy Power enlisted the help of Waterford legend John Mullane to install ‘segregated queuing’ in its Ferrybank shop ahead of Sunday’s crucial All Ireland Senior Hurling semi-final between the Déise and Kilkenny.
Situated on the border, Ferrybank remains one of the GAA’s most hotly-disputed patches with a minority claiming it was Kilkenny’s territory before the Elizabethan conquest altered the map of Ireland to place it in Waterford.
With more than just local bragging rights at stake on Sunday, the move has seen the bookmaker install a ‘nightclub-style’ chrome railing and rope to keep rival fans apart when placing a bet.
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Fans entering the shop will be greeted with signage that reads: PLEASE PLACE YOUR BETS PEACEFULLY, alongside helpful Kilkenny and Waterford directional arrows.
Paddy guarantees that the new addition is sturdier than Waterford’s sweeper system and fans from both sides of the divide have already been spotted reaping the benefits.
Former Waterford hurler and five time All-Star John Mullane said:
If you look at the border it’s clear as day. Ferrybank is in Waterford, but there’s still the odd eejit and bandwagon jumper who claims its in Kilkenny.
There’s a huge rivalry between ourselves and the Cats and nothing would make me happier than for the Deise fans to have the bragging rights on the north side of the bridge come Sunday night.
Paddy Power, a spokesperson for Paddy Power, said:
Ferrybank is often described as the Gaza Strip of hurling and with fans of both sides set to descend on the shop we’re expecting it to be more packed than a Noreside trophy cabinet. As with all rivalries in the GAA we’re not expecting any trouble, but with so much at stake we thought it would be prudent to take some measures.