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Sunday 20 May 2018

Cork's Páirc Ui Chaoimh 'could be the new Croke Park or Aviva' - residents

A general view of Pairc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
A general view of Pairc Uí Chaoimh in Cork. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Claire Fox

Residents in Cork are hopeful that Páirc Ui Chaoimh will be as successful as Croke Park or the Aviva Stadium - but are concerned over the issues of traffic congestion.

The stadium is set to re-open today and will welcome fans from Tipperary, Clare, Waterford and Wexford for the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Quarter Finals over the next two days.

Denis O' Regan, who lives near the stadium in Ballintemple, said that it's a matter of educating match-goers so that the Cork venue can be as successful as Croke Park or the Aviva Stadium. 

He said: "Croke Park is very successful. People understand that they need to walk to matches and that they need to arrive early. The same needs to happen here. It's about educating match-goers not to hang around."

Denis has lived in Ballintemple since 2004. He doesn't believe Ballintemple is the best location for the stadium but he takes pride in where he lives and is hopeful that this weekend will be successful.

He added: "It's not in the best location, it's a cul-de-sac and the only access is Albert Road. I'm just going to sit back and watch because now is not the time to be complaining about height and traffic.

"There's very little parking but I accept where I live, it's a fantastic area and the merits are much better than its faults."

Paddy Mulley of Ballintemple Resident's Association has lived in the area for over 20 years. While he has concerns over litter and congestion, he said the stadium rarely brings anti-social behaviour with GAA matches.

"There will be congestion and it will impact us from traffic to litter and access. You don't get anti-social behaviour generally from GAA fans.

"Concerts are a different story. There's great spin-off employment from it for youngsters in the area too," he said.

Paul Montgomery, owner of Rearden's Bar in Cork City centre, is looking forward to the business that the re-opened stadium will bring, as it was missed since it closed for re-development in 2014.

He said: "There was a massive difference when it closed. It won't be just a GAA venue either. There will be concerts and conferences. It'll be wonderful if we can make it akin to the Aviva in Dublin."

Cork Chamber of Commerce's Director of Policy and External Affairs, Thomas McHugh told Independent.ie that the newly refurbished venue is expected to bring €12.5m in to the city's economy with every match and €10m for every concert.

He said: "It's symbolic and iconic as it's the first landmark you see if you're coming in from Dublin and it's in an area of Cork around the docks that is going to be developed  There's great opportunities for traders to showcase themselves this weekend. It's very exciting."

A statement on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh website is encouraging match-goers to arrive early over the next two days and be aware of parking restrictions.

The statement said: "Our advice to all regardless of where you are travelling from, is to arrive early and to park and ride or walk to the stadium. Please note there will be severe restrictions on parking anywhere near the stadium and vehicular access will be extremely limited. 

However, there is ample parking available in the city centre with regular bus services to Páirc Uí Chaoimh from Parnell Place bus station."

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