Plan for €9M national GAA training centre a major step for Blanchardstown – Varadkar

Minister Varadkar; An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny; Campus Chairman Sean Benton; and Campus CEO Barry O’Brien.

Local TD and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar has said the GAA’s confirmation of plans for a national GAA training centre in Blanchardstown is a major step forward for the National Sports Campus.

“I am really excited that the GAA are coming to the campus. They are the first of the three major field sports to develop training facilities on site. I want to congratulate them on their decision and to assure them of the support and assistance of the Government with their development. I can’t wait to see county, club and college jerseys from across Ireland being worn with pride on campus,” Minister Varadkar said.

The GAA announced plans this week to build four full size pitches at the Campus, including a replica of the Croke Park playing surface. Other plans include an all-weather training facility, a state-of-the-art pavilion, physiotherapy and gym facilities.

The national GAA training centre will serve football, hurling, camogie and ladies football. It will also be available to county, club, school and college teams across Dublin and Leinster.

The GAA will invest €9 million in the facility which should be ready for use by September 2014. The FAI, IRFU and Irish Hockey Association are also preparing to develop facilities at the Campus.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill said: “It is fitting that the GAA should take its place alongside the other 20 national sporting bodies who will have a presence at the impressive new campus and I am pleased that teams from across Ireland – and indeed those visiting from overseas – will have access to these excellent facilities to further enhance their preparation for competing in our games at every level.”

GAA Director General Páraic Ó Dufaigh added: “This is a milestone project, not just for the GAA, but for sport in Ireland and we are delighted to be involved. The role of sport in society is difficult to overestimate and this ambitious project is an acknowledgement of the importance Irish people place on sporting activity and the pursuit of excellence.”

NSCDA Chairman Sean Benton said: “This is a very significant investment by the GAA and represents another huge step forward in the ongoing development of world-class training facilities at the National Sports Campus.”