Taoiseach delivers €30m boost to Pairc Ui Chaoimh
TAOISEACH Enda Kenny may not have forgiven Cork for beating his beloved Mayo in the 1989 All-Ireland final but he still delivered a €30m boost to Rebel GAA coffers.
Mr Kenny visited the home of Cork GAA, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, to confirm a €30m grant to support the ambitious €70m redevelopment of the stadium.
Mr Kenny also warned that Cork needs to make a decision quickly on the location of its proposed new convention centre so that €10m in support funding can be drawn down.
Two rival locations are vying for the convention centre designation, which also includes a subvention from Cork City Council.
For 20 years, Cork has been campaigning for an indoor venue capable of holding major concerts and exhibitions.
Now, Cork County Board hopes that the refurbishment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, which overlooks the River Lee, will make it a rival for Croke Park, the Aviva and Thomond Park.
The modernised stadium will have a 45,000 capacity and will also feature a special centre of sports excellence.
Work on the project, which will create 400 jobs during its development phase, is expected to get under way later this year.
The ambitious redevelopment includes:
* The modernisation of the existing stadium.
* The roofing of both stands.
* New dressing rooms, medical and catering facilities.
* New press and conference rooms.
* Dedicated GAA museum.
* Enhanced spectator access to the stadium.
* New Centre of Sports Excellence, including all-weather floodlit pitch, gym and sports study facilities.
Mr Kenny also claimed Ireland will witness a dramatic economic recovery within 18 months, which will transform the employment situation and the state finances.
The Taoiseach confirmed 56 new jobs for US recruitment firm Oxford International in Cork and visited cloud computing firm VMWare, which has created 250 jobs over the past two years.
"The Government is focused on construction, services and retail – getting people back to work in these industries and off the Live Register," Mr Kenny said.
"We want to restore the jobs that have been lost by 2020 and there's going to be a big stimulus this week to kickstart industry," he said.