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Ground-share deal between Cuala and Blackrock dropped


Cuala GAA

Cuala GAA

Cuala GAA

A proposed pitch-sharing agreement between Cuala GAA and Blackrock College RFC has been scrapped by "mutual consent".

The planned merger had been under negotiation for more than a year, but the Dalkey-based GAA club released a statement to its members on Sunday evening notifying them of the deal's termination.

The project was valued at an estimated €2.5m, with Cuala already having raised around €1.1m from members.

Chairman Declan Murray said there were several reasons why the merger was cancelled, including the complexity of the agreement and the time scale involved in its completion.

"One reason why the deal was terminated was that getting both clubs to agree to and understand the rights of access would have been very difficult," he told the Herald.

"Getting Cuala members to understand which parts of the ground would belong to them, and Blackrock agreeing to which part of the ground constituted theirs, would have been far too complex. The time it would have taken to reach an agreement between both clubs wouldn't have benefited anyone.

"The negotiators from both parties did a great job, but it wasn't to be."


Another reason given for the failed merger was that the addition of only one extra pitch for the GAA club would not have met the club's needs.

"We currently have five pitches, but we need to facilitate the 100-odd teams we have playing here, and an extra pitch alone would not have been enough," said Mr Murray.

The deal would have seen Cuala redevelop the bottom pitches at Blackrock's ground in Stradbrook into an all-weather surface with floodlights.

Mr Murray stressed that the decision was by mutual consent and Frank O'Riordan, executive chairman of Blackrock College RFC, agreed.

"It was a complex transaction with several key reasons as to why we couldn't continue with it," he said.

"The termination was conducted in good spirit and very amicably between the two clubs, and was reached mutually. We wish them the very best and the outcome doesn't strain any relations between us and Cuala."

Cuala has a number of other grounds in the area including Hyde Park in Dalkey as well as pitches in Thomastown and Shankill, which are leased from the local council.