Saturday 20 January 2018

New era starts at revamped venue

Irish Independent Park opens its gates to Munster Rugby for the first time tomorrow when Anthony Foley's men host Cardiff Blues (7.35pm).
Irish Independent Park opens its gates to Munster Rugby for the first time tomorrow when Anthony Foley's men host Cardiff Blues (7.35pm).
Seamus Barry, Digital Content & Communications Executive

Daragh Small

Irish Independent Park opens its gates to Munster Rugby for the first time tomorrow when Anthony Foley's men host Cardiff Blues (7.35pm).

With just one Thomond Park fixture left on the proposed schedule for this season the old Musgrave Park venue will be the home to Munster for the coming months.

In March of last year it was announced that the newly refurbished ground, which of course is also home to Dolphin and Sunday's Well, would be changing its name to Irish Independent Park for the next ten years at least.

The redevelopment works began in June and Munster Rugby invested €3.2m into the venture.

Originally the Munster branch of the IRFU bought the ground in 1938. Dolphin and Sunday's Well were both looking for residence at the time and were given the ground as a result.

At that time it was named Musgrave Park after the late Jimmy Musgrave.

Now just less than 80 years' later Munster Rugby will take the field against Cardiff for the first time on the newly named Irish Independent Park

Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald claimed that it was a momentous day in the history of the province.

"Cork is a vital element of Munster Rugby's success and we are happy that Irish Independent Park will be central to rugby development in the region."

Munster will also play Glasgow Warriors and Treviso at the venue, with the March 28 derby game against Connacht going ahead at Thomond Park.

My Job in Munster: Seamus Barry, Digital Content & Communications Executive

After graduating from Social Science in UCC, the West Cork native spent 10 years as a radio presenter and producer.

Married to Angela, he has a keen interest in many sports, completing a number of marathons. He is also an avid motorcyclist and founder member of the Blood Bike South charity.

When did you join Munster?

In April 2014. With a big interest in sport, I was always interested in applying my media background to a sporting organisation, and, as a massive rugby fan, working for Munster was the dream job.

What do you do in Munster?

 It's quite a varied role, covering mainly the professional side of the game with the Senior, 'A' and Academy squads.

On the digital front, I source, write, record and manage content for the Munster Rugby website and the club's social media channels.

What's the best part of the job?

The diverse nature of the job is really enjoyable.

Mornings mostly involve preparation of copy for our online channels, afternoons (and weekends) can involve anything from player video shoots to the buzz of the tunnel on match day.

Although I'm only in my first year, it's great to see guys progress through the ranks, like my fellow West-Corkonian Darren Sweetnam who will graduate from the academy to the senior squad next season.

Most memorable match?

Cardiff '06. Due to a mix-up, our ferry booking was cancelled the day before the game and determined to get there we luckily found a flight out of Dublin, for which we nearly had to re-mortgage the house!

With no cars available for hire we decided to hitch-hike from Heathrow. Munster fans being who they are, it wasn't long before we were picked up, and as they say, the rest is history…

Irish Independent

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