Monday 11 December 2017

TD insists Dublin has 'no plans for 25,000-capacity stadium at Spawell'


The Spawell Complex
The Spawell Complex
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Dublin has no plans to build a 25,000-capacity stadium in the recently-acquired Spawell Complex on the city's southside, according to a TD for the area.

Fianna Fáil's John Lahart has notified residents in the vicinity of the complex, which is adjacent to the M50 in Templeogue, that he has been told by Dublin CEO, John Costello (right), that a large stadium is not envisaged for the 35-acre site.

Reports of a proposed development have been circulating for some time.

"Mr Costello informed me that the GAA hope to develop a cluster of pitches on the site that will act as a training facility for GAA clubs in the area, including St Jude's, Ballyboden St Enda's, Faughs and Templeogue Synge Street.

"The main pitch would be capable of hosting local club championship games, with some covered accommodation. The Spawell site will not be a replacement for Parnell Park, nor is it envisaged that Dublin (inter-county) league matches or any matches on that scale would be hosted at this location/venue," stated Lahart in a bulletin to local residents.

Dublin GAA recently completed the purchase of Spawell for a figure believed to be over €9 million, having failed in their initial attempt to acquire the complex in 2015, when it went on the market for €6.5 million.

John Costello, that a large stadium is not envisaged for the 35-acre site. Photo: Sportsfile
John Costello, that a large stadium is not envisaged for the 35-acre site. Photo: Sportsfile

It was sold to an investment company, sparking controversy when Costello accused NAMA of ignoring its community development remit by not selling the property for sporting and social purposes.

Dublin County Board included a 25,000-capacity stadium in its strategic plan in 2011, regarding it as an essential addition to bridge the gap between Croke Park (82,300) and Parnell Park (9,000).

Spawell was identified as a potential site, with Costello telling the 2015 county convention that "the lands could be conveniently developed on a phased basis as funds became available, with the stadium as the last piece of the jigsaw."

Spawell currently has an 18-hole par three golf course, driving range, squash courts, all-weather pitches as well as commercial premises, yielding rent of €600,000 per annum.

Meanwhile, Davy Fitzgerald will tomorrow bid for a place in hurling history by becoming the first manager to lead three different counties into national finals.

He steered Waterford to the 2008 All-Ireland final, his native Clare into the 2013 All-Ireland and the 2016 Allianz League finals and is now at the head of an exciting Wexford revival, which has been the hurling story of the year to date.

They head for Nowlan Park tomorrow (4.0) to take on All-Ireland champions Tipperary in a league semi-final pairing that nobody would have anticipated pre-season.

Limerick and Galway, who clash in the other semi-final in the Gaelic Grounds (2.0), meet for the second time in three weeks, with the Tribesmen having won the 1B clash by three points.

Irish Independent

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