Sunday 26 February 2017

Pairc Ui Chaoimh revamp moves big step closer

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

THE final green light has been given for the Cork County Board to press ahead with ambitious plans to redevelop Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Cork City Council met last night to agree a fee for the 6.8 acres that the board are purchasing from the city.

It is understood that they will pay up to €1.7m for the tract of land which has been the subject of negotiations for some time now.

With the final approval now granted, Cork GAA officials can now press ahead with their plans to demolish and rebuild the stadium, which has been in poor condition for some years now, with a view to re-opening it in 2014.

A state-of-the-art centre of excellence forms part of the redevelopment plan on the Leeside site -- something that became a hot issue during one of the most recent player strikes in the county.

Originally it was envisaged that they would opt for a 60,000-seater stadium but that may now be downsized to around 45,000, which is slightly above the current capacity and big enough to house crowds for most of Cork's big matches.

Two weeks ago the long-serving Cork secretary Frank Murphy agreed to stay on for a further 12 months and shelved plans to retire in order to oversee the early stages of the development.

Allowing for the planning process to take its course, Cork County Board officials hope to commence construction of the new stadium within 12 months and are confident that it will be ready in time for the 2014 championship.

The Pairc Ui Chaoimh project will be one of the biggest construction projects being undertaken by the GAA over the next few years.

The Ulster Council also have plans to redevelop Casement Park in the next few years.

Irish Independent

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