‘The new Páirc will be a mag­nif­i­cent re­source’

Irish Examiner - Supplement - - PÁIRC UÍ CHAOIMH SPECIAL - Frank Mur­phy

The original Cork Ath­letic Grounds was of­fi­cially opened as a Sports Grounds in 1904. Páirc Uí Chaoimh sta­dium, as it be­came known, was built on the same site on 1976, be­com­ing the first cus­tombuilt sta­dium in the his­tory of the As­so­ci­a­tion.

Af­ter nearly 40 years in op­er­a­tion, Páirc Uí Chaoimh sta­dium no longer met the needs of the As­so­ci­a­tion and par­tic­u­larly of its play­ers, spec­ta­tors and me­dia.

For the best part of a decade, con­sid­er­a­tion was given to the re­de­vel­op­ment of the sta­dium. Cru­cial to such de­vel­op­ment was the ac­quir­ing of ad­di­tional ad­join­ing lands, as the ex­ist­ing Sta­dium had been built on a very con­fined space.

An im­por­tant achieve­ment, there­fore, was the ac­quir­ing, on a pur­chase ba­sis, of over 6.5 acres of land from Cork City Coun­cil.

The County Com­mit­tee had over the years put aside some of its in­come as a cap­i­tal fund to be used for the sta­dium re­de­vel­op­ment. How­ever, the most cru­cial in­vest­ment came from out­side the county’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties, in terms of grants pro­vided by the Govern­ment, Cen­tral Coun­cil and Mun­ster Coun­cil to the amount of €53,750,000 mil­lion. It should be noted that these sub­stan­tial grants were pro­vided to the County Com­mit­tee for the sole pur­pose of de­vel­op­ing a sta­dium that would do credit to the county, to the As­so­ci­a­tion and to its games.

A de­sign team of Malachy Walsh & Part­ners (con­sult­ing en­gi­neers), Scott Tal­lon Walker (ar­chi­tects), Michael Bar­rett Part­ner­ship (quan­tity sur­vey­ors) and Cun­nane Strat­ton Reynolds (plan­ning) was put in place.

Var­i­ous op­tions for de­sign were con­sid­ered be­fore com­ing down in favour of that of the now com­pleted sta­dium. It in­cor­po­rates two new stands with a ca­pac­ity of 21,000 and new ter­races each with a ca­pac­ity of 12,000, giv­ing a to­tal ca­pac­ity in the Sta­dium of 45,000.

The new Páirc Uí Chaoimh pro­vides a mag­nif­i­cent re­source for our play­ers in terms of sta­dium fa­cil­i­ties and the new 4G all­weather play­ing pitch. Flood­light­ing is be­ing pro­vided in both play­ing are­nas with the main Sta­dium hav­ing LED light­ing of 1,500 lux.

Mod­ern and com­fort­able fa­cil­i­ties are pro­vided for spec­ta­tors. The sta­dium re­tains its bowl shape which en­sures that there is a clear view of the play­ing arena from all parts. An in­ter­na­tional cater­ing com­pany - Com­pass — has been ap­pointed as sta­dium cater­ers and will be ac­tive in pro­mot­ing the sta­dium for con­fer­ences and other events.

There are 33 food and bev­er­ages units through­out the new sta­dium. It is in­tended to be op­er­ated as a busi­ness that will in time pro­vide a rev­enue for the pro­mo­tion of our games in the county.

The Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence, which com­prises fa­cil­i­ties within the sta­dium at a cost €6.5 mil­lion, and the 4G flood­lit, max­i­mum size GAA pitch, pro­vides a mag­nif­i­cent fa­cil­ity for our in­ter­county teams, as well as clubs and schools.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh will have state of the art com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy thanks to our part­ner­ship with Voda­fone Ireland which will greatly ben­e­fit fans and busi­ness users.

While all of the sta­dium was de­vel­oped to a high stan­dard, the Pre­mium Level is par­tic­u­larly ex­cep- tional and the ob­jec­tive is that it pro­vide a sub­stan­tial amount of in­come to­wards over­all de­vel­op­ment costs. It is cru­cial there­fore that the busi­ness com­mu­nity and GAA mem­bers and sup­port­ers be re­cep­tive to­wards en­sur­ing that an im­por­tant 10-year scheme at this level is fully funded.

The lo­cal GAA has been greatly as­sisted in many ways by our na­tional head­quar­ters and in par­tic­u­lar sus­tained sup­port has been re­ceived from the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Paraic Ó Du­faigh for which we are most grate­ful.

It has been a priv­i­lege to work with my col­leagues on the Project Steer­ing Com­mit­tee, Bob Ryan as chair­man, Ger Lane, Christy Cooney and Pearse Mur­phy. It re­ceived great sup­port from the County Com­mit­tee Ex­ec­u­tive and from the busi­ness com­mit­tee un­der the chair­man­ship of John Mullins.

We are ap­pre­cia­tive too of the sup­port re­ceived from the lo­cal Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion. As part of plan­ning, traf­fic plans have been pre­pared in re­spect of all an­tic­i­pated at­ten­dances and it is in­tended to have these fully im­ple­mented.

The sta­dium is get­ting off to a great start this com­ing week­end with the stag­ing of two out­stand­ing All-Ireland hurl­ing quar­ter-fi­nal games, in ad­di­tion to re­cent un­prece­dented sales for three Ed Sheeran Con­certs, which are be­ing staged at the venue in 10 months’ time.

The GAA in Cork wel­comes its mag­nif­i­cent new sta­dium and head­quar­ters, which will greatly en­hance the pro­mo­tion of our na­tional games.

Frank Mur­phy is sec­re­tary of the Cork County Board

Pic­ture: Michael Mac Sweeney/Pro­vi­sion

Cork GAA County Board sec­re­tary Frank Mur­phy at Páirc Uí Caoimh ear­lier this week.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.