Connacht hope €3m dome will be ready by June
Connacht GAA hope that their proposed air dome at their GAA Centre in Behan outside Ballyhaunis, that will contain an indoor pitch, will be open in June in time for the province's hosting of Féile Peile na nÓg.
The provincial body received a significant boost on Friday last when €2.1m was pledged under the terms of the Department of Rural and Community Development's €1bn Rural Regeneration and Development Fund.
The project is expected to cost €3m in total and the 150metre x 100metre structure will accommodate a 125metre x 80metre pitch, according to Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty. There will also be limited seating.
While games will be played there, the facility is primarily being aimed at coaching and games development while also catering for disabled games and health and wellbeing, according to Prenty.
"We think it will be the first facility of its kind for sports in Ireland," said Prenty.
"The pitch will be mimimum size but it will be able to accommodate some games. However, the main focus will be on coaching and games development work for our counties."
He also pointed out that it will be available to a wide range of other sports in the west when it is operational.
The design will be similar to what venues like Leopardstown race track have to hire out as sports facilities, only on a bigger scale.