Sport Rugby

Saturday 21 October 2017

Rugby centre hopes to bring in '€17m per year'

Paul O’Connell is pictured at the site of the proposed world rugby visitor centre on O’Connell Street, Limerick. Photo: Alan Place
Paul O’Connell is pictured at the site of the proposed world rugby visitor centre on O’Connell Street, Limerick. Photo: Alan Place
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

A new world rugby visitor centre will be established in Limerick, headed up by former Ireland and Munster captain, Paul O'Connell.

An initial investment of €10m for the development of 30,000 sq ft of floor space in the heart of the city has been secured from billionaire horse racing tycoon JP McManus.

Planning permission is currently being sought for the development which will hopefully open before 2020.

"It's an idea that started two years ago when JP came to me and since I've retired, it's accelerated a little bit. The idea has turned from a rugby museum to a state-of-the-art digital experience, and that's the plan," O'Connell said.

"There'll be 100 jobs in the construction phase and, operationally, you'd love to think there'll be may be the same amount again."

Located at 40-42 O'Connell Street and No 1 Cecil Street, Limerick, the 'rugby experience', which has yet to get its official name, is intended to be an international tourist attraction with dramatic 4D interactive galleries and exhibits celebrating iconic moments from the world of rugby.

James Ring, President of Limerick Chamber, said the rugby visitor centre expected to yield "over €17m per annum" for the local economy.

A host of rugby stars have joined O'Connell on an advisory board, including former All Black captain Sean Fitzpatrick, Australian kicker Michael Lynagh and ex-Irish and Munster star Keith Wood.

Irish Independent

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