Development work at the GAA’s new facility at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown is set to commence and this milestone was marked today with the turning of the first sod at the site.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill and Ard Stiúrthóir Páraic Ó Dúfaigh were joined at the facility by the Minster for Sport, Tourism and Transport and Sport Leo Varadkar TD and Seán Benton, Chair of the NSCDA.
The project is to provide a centre of excellence for the GAA on a national scale at the National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15. This involves the provision of a total of five pitches, four full size floodlit, including a synthetic pitch and a smaller training pitch.
The pitches, will be constructed by Prunty and will be serviced by a new pavilion building designed by SSA Architects that accommodates ten changing rooms with associated physio, referees, meeting rooms, dining facility and reception area. In addition there is provision for a covered seated spectator area for approx 400 persons which is fully accessible. Adequate car parking will form part of the works.
The building will make use of the latest sustainable energy options to reduce the running costs on a life cycle basis. Adjacent to the pavilion building, there will be a state of the art hurling wall.
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill said: “We are delighted to mark the next phase – indeed the most important phase of the project – that will see the installation of our pitches and other facilities and I look forward to seeing progress in the coming weeks and months.”
“We as an organisation are delighted to have a significant presence on the National Sports Campus, a facility that has the potential to take sport to another level and it is fitting and proper that Gaelic games should be involved in that elevation through the provision of a facility that will benefit our players and units in the greater Leinster area and the GAA nationally.”
“I would like to acknowledge the roles and support of Minister Varadkar TD and the NSCDA. I would also like to thank Shane Santry and SSA Architects, Prunty Pitches, Tobin Consulting Engineers, Project Engineer Frank Murray and Paddy Naughton, Chairperson of our National Infrastructural Committee who will help the Association bring this exciting initiative to fruition.”
Minister Varadkar added: “This is a key moment in the development of the Sports Campus. The GAA is a vital stakeholder in the Partnership process between Government and the sports bodies, and has been very supportive of the whole project. The National Centre of Excellence is going to be an excellent mix of pitches and a pavilion, and will complement the other facilities already in place at the Campus. It will be a great asset to Gaelic games and the GAA and I’m really looking forward to seeing it up and running.”
Speaking on behalf of the NSCDA Seán Benton added: “It gives me great pleasure in welcoming Cumann Lúthchleas Gael to the National Sports Campus, which marks the commencement of a great partnership.”
Work on the site will commence in the next fortnight and it is expected that the development will last 18 months. In total the GAA will invest €9m in the facility.