Saturday 10 December 2016

Bertie's 'field of dreams' could be veg patch

Published 11/04/2010 | 05:00

The site of the ill-fated 'Bertie Bowl' should be ploughed up and turned into vegetable allotments.

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That's the plan being endorsed by Fine Gael 'enfant terrible' Leo Varadkar.

When plans were made to locate the Bertie Bowl in Abbotstown in 2002, it was originally planned that the "500-acre campus'' would contain an 80,000-seater stadium, a 15,000-seater arena, tennis centres, a velodrome, a sports-science centre and a 50-metre Olympic-sized swimming pool.

But after the Aquadome was built, the rest of the so-called Bertie Bowl, including the football stadium, never went ahead.

Now much of the remainder of Abbotstown, near Blanchardstown in west Dublin -- a former agriculture research centre -- is lying idle and there are calls to turn the "desolate" land into allotments for community use.

Mr Varadkar admitted: "Some ministerial and one former Taoiseach's ego might be dented if Bertie's field of dreams is turned into fields of spuds.''

There are about 300 people on a waiting list for allotments.

"There is a great demand for garden allotments which is more than can be said of the Bertie Bowl," said Mr Varadkar, adding that "90 per cent of the Abbotstown site is not being used, and while I would like to see the stadium campus being built, while it is on hold the land should be used in a progressive manner.''

Sunday Independent

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