Spawell complex set to be ‘centre of excellence’

By Aura McMenamin

The Spawell complex bought by the GAA Board earlier this year will not be used for a new stadium, the County Board confirmed this week.

The Dublin GAA County Board bought the Spawell site in Templeogue earlier this year for €9m, with reports at the time suggesting that a 25,000-seater stadium would be built to replace Parnell Park.

Spawell aerial drone shot Ben Ryan 27042017

However, County Chairman Sean Shanley said this week that a centre of excellence would be developed on the site instead.

According to Mr Shanley, the 35-acre site found just off the M50 will hold a much smaller venue instead, that could be used to host club games.

Mr Shanley said that building a stadium would have been too costly (an estimated €45m) and the process of obtaining planning permission would have taken too long.

He said to a national newspaper: “The whole place is leased out. There’s rental income coming from it. We never wanted to be landlords, but basically we want the land where the pitch and putt and the driving range is.

“That’s to be converted into five pitches, a bit like Abbotstown, so that will be Dublin’s Centre of Excellence with a nice cluster of pitches.”

Social Democrats councillor Dermot Looney said he was frequently contacted by locals for information on the site and welcomed the news.

He said: “A sporting centre of excellence at this site will be a welcome addition to the local community given its proximity to local GAA clubs such as Ballyboden St Enda’s, St Jude’s, Faughs, Robert Emmets, Thomas Davis, St Anne’s, etc. I would hope that local players, young and old, will be served at the site if and when it is developed.”

Speaking to The Echo, the Templeogue councillor said that it would be tricky for the County Board to negotiate with a number of leaseholders on the site.

“There’s quite a number of businesses there, including 16 retail units and a pub with long term leases.”

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