Galway GAA to offload 103ac block of land bought at 'Tiger' prices
In the modern sporting world you are nothing if you don't have access to a centre of excellence.
It is the buzzword in GAA circles and millions of euros have been pumped into these facilities around the country as county boards seek to fine-tune their hurlers and footballers with a view to filling the rather bare shelves of their silverware cabinets.
With such a centre in mind the Galway County board bought 103ac of prime land at Mountain South, 2km from Athenry, at the height of the 'tiger years' and probably paid tiger prices for the property.
Nevertheless while planning permission was awarded the fields of Athenry at Mountain South lay very low once the recession bit.
However, in the intervening years the lack of a centre of excellence didn't stop Galway from knocking consistently on the All Ireland door at Croke Park and the same Tribesmen showed no shortage of excellence when they lifted the Liam McCarthy cup last September.
With some justification Galway GAA has come to the conclusion that the proposed facilities are surplus to requirements so the county board is off-loading the fields at Athenry and scrapping the plans for six pitches with pitch shelters, an all-weather pitch, a sports hall, a gym, dressing rooms, car parks and ball walls.
The auctioneer handling the sale, Cathal Moran is himself a decorated hurler having won three all-Ireland club medals with Athenry and an All-Ireland U21 medal with Galway.
Mr Moran is guiding the sale price of the land at €750,000 or just under a very conservative €7,500/ac.