Wednesday 18 October 2017

'No' to soccer and rugby in the Pairc

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Accommodation for soccer and rugby won't be part of any deal to redevelop Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

That was the firm message from Cork County Board after a local councillor who backed plans to sell off city lands to the GAA for the 'Pairc' redevelopment indicated he would like to see a deal similar to Croke Park operate in Cork.

With Cork County Board tying in a centre of excellence into the redevelopment of Pairc Ui Chaoimh down at the marina, the purchase of extra land is vital to their plans.

And that hurdle was cleared last week when councillors voted 17-11 to sell the lands. Negotiations with City Hall are to begin soon and the Cork Board have said that their plans can come to fruition within three years.

But Fianna Fail councillor Sean Martin, a brother of Minister Micheal Martin, has thrown a spanner in the works with a suggestion that the new ground could be opened for soccer and rugby.

"I would love to see soccer or rugby played down there some time. We saw with Croke Park that there will have to be a business plan to meet the ongoing costs and it would be great if that meant soccer or rugby could be played there," he said.

Councillor Martin is a member of the Nemo Rangers club and his views are understood to be supported by a number of other councillors who were favourable to the GAA securing the extra acreage despite the opposition of the county manager Joe Gavin.

However, Cork chairman Jerry O'Sullivan has firmly indicated that opening Pairc Ui Chaoimh won't be on any agenda now or in the future.

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