The GAA Infrastructure Thread

With the announcement below by Padraic Duffy of the redevelopment of PUC (no, really, we’re serious this time) by 2015 (!) and Casement Park, the GAA is not letting the economic downturn get in the way of much needed upgrading of important grounds. Great news altogether, but given the fact that it will invove significant borrowing, as there will be little or not state money involved, will this have a detrimental effect in the short term on funds flowing to the counties / clubs from head office? Especially when you consider the parlous financial state of some county boards, Wexford being a case in point.

What other essential work has to be carried out around the country?

(From the Irish Times)

GAA DIRECTOR General Páraic Duffy yesterday confirmed the GAA are fully committed to embarking on the biggest period of infrastructural investment since the redevelopment of Croke Park was completed in 2005.
Over €160 million will be required, from internal and external sources, to completely modernise both Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork and Casement Park in Belfast.
“We know over the next number of years our two big commitments will be to Casement Park and Páirc Uí Chaoimh,” said Duffy yesterday. “It will be a huge strain on our resources, clearly we are talking about getting into borrowings here.
“But the main point I want to make is that because of the huge amount of work done over the past 10 years in terms of ground redevelopment we are not in too bad a shape all over the country. Secondly, because of the recession there wouldn’t be as great a demand in other counties to redevelop stadia that there would have been.
“The government funding, sports capital grants, has largely dried up. That means there are less projects and with Cork and Belfast putting a serious demand on us there won’t be an awful lot available for other projects over the next five years.”
The Ulster Council plan to develop a 40,000 capacity ground in Belfast with Cork GAA aiming for 45,000 capacity and a centre of excellence.
They are poised to seek planning permission for the first phase of a two-year project to modernise Páirc Uí Chaoimh, which includes 2,000 corporate and premium seats. The projected total cost is €67 million. Naming rights will also be sold.
“I think there has been a huge positive payback by the redevelopment of Croke Park,” Duffy said. “People want to come to a stadium where spectator comfort is outstanding, players enjoy playing there and now we will have two more well developed stadia at either end of the country.
“In the future people won’t come to games without a certain level of comfort and facilities. We need to be able to deliver that to the public who attend our games.”
Cork county board aspire to complete the re-development by the end of 2015.
“In the ideal scenario you wouldn’t be redeveloping two of your biggest stadia at the same time. But I think nobody would argue both of them are in serious need of redevelopment,” said Duffy, who made the point that the bulk of the money for the Casement redevelopment – some £61.4 million (€76.55m) – is coming from the Northern Ireland Executive.
“The initial idea was to build a multi-sports stadium at the Maze which the GAA had signed up for with soccer and rugby. That fell through and it was decided to redevelop each organisation’s stadia separately. So we had no control over the timing; the opportunity is there now and it couldn’t be turned down.”
The GAA are contributing £15 million (€18.7 million) to the Casement project. Although a formal meeting has yet to take place between Cork officials and the GAA management committee, a similar financial commitment is expected to be requested from central coffers.
“In the case of Páirc Uí Chaoimh it just has to be modernised,” Duffy continued. “It does put a burden on us. I suppose we are a little further behind in the Cork situation. The Casement case has been made, they have been down to Croke Park and the plans are underway so we know what the commitment there will be.
“But everybody agrees it has to be done. Cork have acquired the land and are in the preliminary stages of design.”
The Cork county board, led by long-serving secretary Frank Murphy, will also seek a contribution from the Munster Council and state funding.
Phase one will require €40-50 million over two years with phase two being the construction of a new terrace and open stand. The centre of excellence will include an all-weather pitch, new gymnasium, dressingrooms, video and performance assessment facilities. A viewing area of 1,000 capacity for the all-weather pitch will form part of the redevelopment of the existing covered stand.
Four hundred jobs are expected to be created by the project with €22 million going into the construction and related industries.
“We will contribute the majority of the funding ourselves,” said Cork chairman Bob Ryan. “If we can raise the funds for completion in one phase we will.”
In the meantime, no major championship matches will be held in Cork city as Páirc Uí Rinn only holds 17,000. There are home and away agreements in place with a number of Munster counties, which Cork GAA hope will be honoured with a run of home matches after 2015.

Note - TASE, we’ve heard it all before mate, calm down

The redevelopment of both venues is welcome. One wonders however, if a possible world cup rugby bid down the line is a factor.

This one should light a fire on munsterfans. The Cork rugby boys were very upset at the proposlas to develop pairc ui murchu with support for Cork city council.

Any particular reason CCHA? I have many friends in the rugby fraternity. Most would double up in support of Cork GAA teams, but a few seem to be bitter about Limerick being the centre of Munster Rugby and tended to lash out at any kind of GAA positive movements. Never read Munster forum though.

it was critical to redevelop pairc ui caoimh. the idea that frank murphy would be left without a white elephant to his name was unthinkable…

It’s a great example of how institutional politics work. It’s a completely illogical and downright idiotic move, yet as you say the idea of it not happening is unthinkable.


For the reasons as you say

yep- the gga waste hundreds of millions of euros building stadiums that are hardly ever used and when they are they arent even close to 1/4 capacity so lets applaud them on their foresight in building a couple of more white elephants.

the gga beg the government for money or clones and when its built they beg the brits for money for casement park

maybe just maybe if they spent money on promotion of the game the gga sports might become popular

as far as i can see the esri has stated that gga slurryball is the 7th most popular sport, gga stickstick is the 14th, handball is 986th and rounders is 2223rd

Quick, everybody take a shot


[quote=“Piles Hussain, post: 712674”]

Quick, everybody take a shot



Its a double if he mentions the ryan report

A treble if he says Larry Murphy

The old threads from AFR repeating themselves here I see!

As I said there, the planned redevelopment of PUC is stupid. There aren’t enough matches to support another 40k stadium in munster.

at last, someone has said the emperor has no clothes :clap: :clap: :clap:

So Padraic Duffy reckons Hawk Eye technology will be in place for the club finals in March. I hope this works, I’m assuming the main reasoning behind it is for verification of points rather than goals?

A County the size of Cork deserves a 40,000 Stadium imo.

Look at the size of the County, a good standard of hurling & football.

Could people really agree with leaving the Pairc as it is and just saying we will play all the big games in Thurles,Limerick and Killarney?

Deserves means jack shit mate… either the numbers stack up or they don’t.

Pearse Stadium in Galway is a complete white elephant. Money would have been better spent investing in Tuam and Athenry… Or alternatively a green field site suitable for both hurling and football on the North East side of Galway City…

It’s in each county board’s individual interest to fight for a big stadium. It goes without saying that they’re unnecessary.

Maybe but these figures can be used to say they do,

MSHC Cork v Tipp 2012
Attendance: 32,568

MSHC Tipp v Wd 2012
Attendance: 26,438

MSHC Tipp v Wd 2011
Attendance: 36,654

MSHC Cork v Tipp 2010
Attendance: 36, 827

Imo the figures stack up in favour of a 40,000 capacity stadium being a requirement in Cork. Also, if as expected we see an upturn in the fortunes of Limerick and Clare then attendances will increase also.

we can’t make use of the stadia we already have.
off the top of my head, the Gaelic Grounds, the 2nd biggest arena in Munster, has been full twice since redevelopment
(TY v CE munster final 08(?), TY v LK munster semi final 07)

Keynesians gone mad.

I would have thought bailing out the Roscommon, Mayo and Waterford County Boards was a higher priority than rebuilding two Communist-era concrete bowls.