Culture Shock at the New Lansdowne Road – sponsor Aviva. Heavy handed security – and provocative,insulting conditions of entry. Sport is not a church meeting.

Just to let the IRFU Committee know that some of us do not like to be treated like animals or like children. There is passion in sport. The players certainly play with passion. Please look at the absurdity of the ‘Note to Supporters’ Aviva Stadium – Health and Safety printed in the programme for internationals. (Also in FAI Cup Programme for Rovers v Sligo). The details are insulting. Hiding under the bushel of “Health and Safety” is risible.

The insults start at No1. “Entry to the ground shall be deemed to constitute unqualified acceptance of all of these regulations”. UNQUALIFIED – You must be joking!

Then to Number 3. “The instructions of the stewards must be obeyed at all times” Just read the Leinster supporters blog of the Leinster/Munster experiences and you can draw your own conclusions.

No 4 “All persons entering the ground agree to be searched by stewards and/or the Garda Siochana” Really!

6. Pitch invasions, entry or throwing things is out. Agree entirely but I’m glad that was not the case when the lads won in 1985 and in 1982 in civilised old Lansdowne.

6.5 “Behaving in an offensive or abusive manner” – What is that exactly? Does that include casting aspersions on a ref’s parentage or on the parentage of someone who knocks seven bells out of a home player? Does that mean that only “Tally Ho” or “Dreadful action old boy” or “disgraceful” or “What school did such and such go to” is allowed? Moss Keane would have been thrown out perfunctorily!

6.6 “Bringing alcohol into the ground” Are the stewards/Gardai going to search the Scots for hip flasks and then confiscate them only to allow them to buy alcohol in all the bars in the ground? That will confer a whole new meaning to what’s under your kilt?

6.7 “Bringing into the ground.. poles etc..which could be used as a weapon.” At the Ireland v South Africa game, an advertising green flag and stick was left on my seat when I arrived. It served to cover my knees from the rain but could have been used as a WEAPON. Wow! As for umbrellas – out – but sit in the rain all you mugs because the fantastic designers let it happen.

6.8 “Excessive noise such as that from the use of radio sets, fog horns or vuvuzelas or other appliances and behaviour likely to cause confusion or nuisance of any kind including foul and abusive language” So out go the Zulus, the French bands, Billy Connolly, Paul Gogarty TD, and many Irish who are not chappies and use ‘foul and abusive language’. At some football games, the stewards might attempt to remove and expel large chunks of the crowd – if they dare!

7. “If a person commits a trespass, reasonable force may be used to prevent, restrain, or terminate any trespass.” – I can imagine that this may allow a stupid officious steward to assault someone or lead to a serious row.

8. “Where a person is in breach of any of these rules, or where the management believes that a person constitutes a source of danger to others, or the ground, such person may be refused entry to or be ejected from the ground, and reasonable force may be used for that purpose”. Management beliefs – protect us from such potential follies.

How is it that this sort of arrogant excessive officiousness is deemed necessary now when it was unnecessary in Lansdowne for the past decades?

The law of the land takes presidence over this sort of Kant. The Public Order Act and the laws of assault apply to everyone even those running the stadium management company. If stewards are like bouncers, do they have to have a licence? We are really losing it in Ireland – common sense and courtesy seem to have evaporated.

I hope journalists pick this up because these attitudes should not remain unchallenged. Philip Browne claims that the high ticket prices just reflect the better facilities. Well, sitting in the rain is not the expected level of first class experience that I expect nor is the attitude of the stewarts nor is this over-the-top diatribe in the programme.