Sunday 21 January 2018

Dublin's ambitious bid underlines GAA's commitment to development

The Spawell Complex in Templeogue, Dublin, was placed on the market with an asking price of €6.5m
The Spawell Complex in Templeogue, Dublin, was placed on the market with an asking price of €6.5m
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

The ambitious attempt by Dublin County Board to purchase the Spawell Complex in Templeogue, which had an €6.5m asking price, underlines the GAA's vibrancy in the area of infrastructural development.

And while Dublin failed to land the south city property, their search for a different site will continue.

Meanwhile, much larger projects are either underway or awaiting planning permission.

Cork are redeveloping Pairc Ui Chaoimh into a 45,000-capacity stadium at a cost of €70m, while Casement Park in Belfast is also earmarked for a major upgrade.

The target is a 38,000-capacity stadium at a cost of €77m, but it has run into difficulty over planning.

The High Court ruled last December that permission, as granted, was unlawful. It's a major setback for the Ulster Council, who are now working towards finding a solution that would meet the requirements of objectors.

They remain hopeful that a compromise can be reached.

Cusack Park, Ennis is to have a €2.5m upgrade, while Galway are hoping to install floodlights in Pearse Stadium.

Major developments works have taken place in most counties around the country in recent years.

And, if Ireland's bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup is successful, it will be a huge boost for several stadiums that will be required for the big event. Upgrading work will be carried out in most of them.

While most of the country is well-served with GAA stadiums, Dublin and surrounding counties are relying on Croke Park.

And since its 82,300-capacity is required for big occasions only, the need for a stadium with a capacity of around 25,000 in the greater Dublin area is apparent.

None of the counties surrounding Dublin (Wicklow, Kildare, Meath, Louth) have such a facility.

Irish Independent

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