The GAA has confirmed plans to develop high performance purpose-built facilities for the ’Association at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown.
The new facility will include four full size pitches including one to the scale of Croke Park; a full size 3G training facility; a hurling wall; a state-of-the-art pavilion to include 10 changing rooms, a viewing gallery for 350 people and ancillary space to cater for offices, meeting rooms, physiotherapy, a gym and canteen. Parking spaces for 256 cars and eight coaches have also been included.
The facility will serve as a national training centre for all strands of the wider ’Association including camogie and ladies football and will assist in catering for the needs of counties, clubs, schools and colleges in Dublin and the greater Leinster area.
In total, the GAA will invest €9 million in the facility. It is expected that development work will commence in the coming weeks and will be ready for use by September 2014. The ’Association has worked in partnership with the National Sports Campus Development Authority to develop these facilities, and the GAA will be one of 20 national sporting bodies operating from the Campus.
President Liam O’Neill said it was fitting that the GAA should take its place alongside the other 19 national sporting bodies who will have a presence at the impressive new Campus.
“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 Duffy 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.”
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said he was excited the GAA was coming to the Campus. It was the first of the four major field sports organisations 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,” he added. “I can’t wait to see county, club and college jerseys from across Ireland being worn with pride on Campus.”