Friday 22 September 2017

Green light for Pairc Ui Chaoimh overhaul as city agrees land sale

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

The crumbling old bowl that is Pairc Ui Chaoimh has been cleared for a major overhaul.

Cork City Council voted by 17-11 yesterday to back GAA plans to buy six extra acres from City Hall to expand their development and attach a centre of excellence, with an all-weather facility, at the venue close to the city centre.

Without the extra land, Cork GAA would not have pressed ahead with their ambitious plans.

Last week, the County Manager Joe Gavin indicated that he would be opposed to giving the GAA all of the land they were seeking because he feared the impact it would have on the wider development of the docklands and Leeside area.

Hotels, offices and apartments are all planned in a major regeneration of the area.

Pairc Ui Chaoimh is in dire need of an overhaul. At present, it can house 43,000 but the plan is to be able to seat 50,000.

The redevelopment could cost in the region of €50m.

"We're very pleased with the decision. The key for us was to have everything under the one roof," said Cork chairman Jerry O'Sullivan. "We can start negotiations with the City now for the land. Then we'll enter the planning negotiations. All going well, we'd hope to have phase one completed within two years."

During reconstruction, Pairc Ui Chaoimh will be closed to big matches, but O'Sullivan envisages a situation where it will remain open for local games.

Irish Independent

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