Trin­ity Col­lege buys sports grounds for ¤2m

The Irish Times - - Home News - CARL O’BRIEN

Trin­ity Col­lege Dublin has bought the Iveagh Grounds sport­ing fa­cil­ity from the own­ers of Guin­ness.

The 17-acre grounds in Crum­lin – which in­clude GAA, rugby, bowls, ten­nis and hockey pitches – are among the largest sport­ing grounds close to Dublin city cen­tre.

Trin­ity, which has been seek­ing to ex­pand its sports of­fer­ing to cater to a grow­ing stu­dent pop­u­la­tion for sev­eral years, is un­der­stood to have paid close to ¤2 mil­lion for the grounds.

The uni­ver­sity is likely to spend sig­nif­i­cant ad­di­tional sums on de­vel­op­ing new sports fa­cil­i­ties at the site.

The rel­a­tively low price is un­der­stood to be a frac­tion of its de­vel­op­ment value, re­flect­ing the fact that the agree­ment re­stricts its fu­ture use to sports.

The grounds were es­tab­lished in 1928 for the ben­e­fit of Guin­ness work­ers. Un­til now they have been man­aged by the Guin­ness Ath­letic Union, an in­de­pen­dent club with a broad mem­ber­ship from across the com­mu­nity.

Un­der the terms of the agree­ment, Trin­ity is as­sum­ing own­er­ship, con­trol and man­age­ment of the grounds.

It is planned that the ath­let­ics union and its clubs will en­joy con­tin­ued ac­cess to the fa­cil­i­ties at pref­er­en­tial rates. The union will also con­tinue to of­fer recre­ational and func­tion rooms.

Write-off

The Iveagh Grounds join the uni­ver­sity’s sports pitches, along with its 34-acre sports grounds in Santry which in­clude soc­cer, GAA, rugby and hockey pitches.

Plans to sell the fa­cil­ity hit a num­ber of obstacles in re­cent years. In June last year, mem­bers of the Guin­ness Ath­letic Union re­jected an of­fer from Di­a­geo, in­clud­ing the write-off of a ¤2 mil­lion loan con­nected with the fa­cil­ity’s club­house and bar, to ease the tran­si­tion of own­er­ship.

A re­vised deal is un­der­stood to have in­cluded a write- off of the loan, along with a “fi­nan­cial cush­ion” for the union.

The Iveagh Sports Grounds in Crum­lin, which Trin­ity Col­lege has bought from Di­a­geo

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