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Wednesday 01 May 2024
Advice issued to fans ahead of Irish Cup Final

The Irish Football Association and the PSNI have issued advice and guidance to Cliftonville and Linfield supporters, and the public, ahead of the Clearer Water Irish Cup Final this weekend.

Road users are being advised by the police to anticipate some traffic disruption and plan for potential delays in south Belfast on Saturday (4 May) due to the showpiece match.

The game between Cliftonville and Linfield is taking place at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, kicking off at 2.30pm.

More than 15,000 supporters are expected to attend the match on what will be a busy Bank Holiday weekend. 

The PSNI points out that the Boucher Road is a thriving commercial area and will be busy with members of the public frequenting the area. 

Supporters and shoppers are advised to plan their journey in advance, ensuring they leave sufficient travel time as congestion is likely in the area.

A build-up of traffic is expected in the M1, Donegall Road and, in particular, the Boucher Road areas both before and after the game.

The PSNI asks that those driving to the match park with consideration for local residents and businesses, and that supporters are respectful and considerate whilst walking through residential streets close to the stadium.

Police would ask that all Cliftonville private coaches/minibuses bringing supporters to the match leave the motorway at Stockman’s Lane and travel towards the Boucher Road from this direction. Police would advise private coaches to park up in the general area of Apollo Road. Coaches will not be allowed to park up on Boucher Road convenient to the ground.

Coaches should park on one side of the street only, with no double parking. There is space for coach parking in this area. Coaches must not block business entrances; 24-hour access is required by the majority of businesses in this area.

After the match coaches should then leave Apollo Road and travel towards Stockman’s Lane. No coaches will be permitted to travel towards the direction of Glenmachan Street or the National Stadium.

Coaches should not permit passengers to disembark on the Boucher Road convenient to the stadium as this causes potential public safety issues and can cause a backlog of traffic in all directions.

Linfield supporters’ coaches and private coaches should use the streets off Lisburn Road to drop off and collect passengers. No coaches will be permitted to travel towards the direction of Donegall Avenue as it will not be accessible for supporters’ coaches. 

The areas around the National Stadium are ‘No Street Drinking’ zones under Belfast City Council bye-laws - and these bye-laws should be complied with at all times. 

The PSNI hopes that the match is enjoyed by all and would remind those attending to behave in a manner befitting the reputation of their clubs.

The Irish FA has also issued general advice to supporters who will be attending the game:

Entering the stadium

Those supporting Linfield should enter the stadium via Donegall Avenue and those supporting Cliftonville should enter via Boucher Road. All supporters are subject to ticket checks and may be searched prior to entry. All bags are subject to search and no bags larger than A4-size are permitted. Please note Under-14s must always be accompanied by an adult during the event. 

Entry time

Gates to the stadium will open at 1pm ahead of the 2.30pm kick-off. Supporters should arrive at the ground early.

There will be no admission to the stadium before the designated opening time.

Downloading/printing tickets

All tickets for the game should be accessed and either downloaded or printed ahead of arriving at the stadium.

Please note tickets can now be accessed in accounts.

Seating in the stadium

All supporters must sit in the seat allocated on their match ticket.

Tickets will feature the seating area, row number and seat number.

Supporters should check their ticket information before approaching the turnstiles. 

Supporters should follow the directions of the stewards when entering the stadium bowl. 

Supporters’ behaviour

There are strict rules regarding the behaviour of supporters in and around the stadium.

Supporters should familiarise themselves with The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park’s terms and conditions relating to admission. These and other relevant information can be accessed here.

The regulations include a list of prohibited items, such as pyrotechnics. 

Any articles that could potentially be used as a weapon and/or compromise public safety are strictly prohibited.

In order to ensure the security, safety and comfort of all patrons, the Irish Football Association reserves the right at its reasonable discretion to refuse admission to, or to eject anyone from, the venue without compensation or refund.

Food and drink

Beverages (including alcohol) and food will be available at kiosks within the stadium. All stadium kiosks are cashless.


Cliftonville will be operating a merchandise shop in a mobile unit at the stadium (North-West Quadrant) on Saturday, while the Linfield club shop in the stadium’s East Stand will also be open ahead of the game. The shops will open at 1pm when gates open.


Matchday programmes will be available, priced at £5 each (cash only).


Supporters should regularly check Irish FA channels for any further updates.