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Athletics: Sports Campus cleared to move ahead with €7m construction plan

A €7million development is set to get under way next month at the National Sports Campus (NSC) in Abbotstown on the outskirts of Dublin, creating over 100 jobs for the local economy.

Last week the NSC development authority received financial sanction from the government to proceed with placing the contract for the development of the multi-sports all-weather pitches and the pavilion. The construction will begin in April and is expected to finish towards the end of the year.

"We are driving the development of the Campus and we want to deliver it primarily for Irish athletes and players and all elements of sport in Ireland," said Barry O'Brien chief executive of the National Sports Campus Development Authority.

"The athletes and players deserve world-class training facilities here in Ireland for all the effort they put in. We are using a twin-track approach for the new facility; we want to ensure that whatever we provide for high performance is actually sustainable financially; therefore we are making the top-class facilities available to the public on commercial terms like we do with the National Aquatic Centre."

The NSCDA recently developed a partnership strategy endorsed by the government which allowed them to transfer large pieces of land at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown to the GAA, FAI, IRFU and Irish Hockey.

"We were a bit disappointed that the State wasn't going to do what it originally intended to do years ago but we are dealing with new realities, transferring the land was a game-changer and allowed us to move forward," explained O'Brien.

These sporting bodies will develop their own sites, while the NSCDA will deliver common infrastructure. The legal documentation on the deal has been fully executed and it's expected that the GAA and FAI will be start work on their fields by next month while the IRFU and Irish Hockey will commence work at a later date.

There are also plans to transform the walled garden area into an equestrian centre for Horse Sport Ireland and the Modern Pentathlon and to develop a cross-country track and eventually an indoor athletics track.

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