GAA quash 25,000-seater rumours about Spawell

By Mary Dennehy

THE GAA has no plans to build a 25,000- seater stadium at the Spawell Complex, local TD John Lahart has said.

The Dublin County Board has completed the purchase of the 35-acres Spawell complex, with reports of a proposed 25,000 capacity stadium at the Templeogue site receiving widespread coverage in recent months.

Spawell aerial drone shot Ben Ryan 27042017

During this time, the GAA did not officially confirm or deny reports that a large-scale stadium was in play for the Spawell site.

However, local Fianna Fáil TD John Lahart has now confirmed, following discussions with the CEO of the County Board, John Costello, that the GAA “does not” have any plans for a 25,000-seater stadium.

In a letter to residents, many of whom expressed concerns over the scale of the reported development, Deputy Lahart said: “[Mr Costello] informed me that the GAA hopes to develop a cluster of pitches on the site that will act as a training facility for all of the clubs in the area, including St Jude’s, Ballyboden, St Enda’s, Faugh’s and Templeogue Synge Street. 

“The main pitch would be capable of hosting local club championship games with some covered accommodation.”

After a failed bid in 2015 to buy the 35-acre complex, which saw NAMA sell to a private investor, the GAA bought the Spawell complex earlier this year for a reported €9m.

It was initially believed that the site would provide Dublin with an alternative to Parnell Park in Donnycarney for league and club games, as well as being a base on the south-side of the city.

However, according to Deputy Lahart: “The Spawell site will not be a replacement for Parnell Park, nor is it envisaged that Dublin league matches or any matches on that scale would be hosted at this location/venue.”

Deputy Lahart added: “The GAA are very aware and sensitive to the concerns of residents and businesses in the area and will be engaging with all stakeholders at each stage of their development proposals for the site.

He added: “The initial proposal in the coming years is to develop training pitches only.

“The GAA also intends to maintain the existing buildings infrastructure on site.

“This also includes the all-weather pitches, for the short-term.”

The Echo contacted the County Board for comment, but a reply was not received in time for print.

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