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£1.2m project on Pairc Esler to start


Nuachtraiteas    -    Press Release    -    Nuachtraiteas 

Final Revamp for Down GAA Headquarters 

Contract Signed for £1.2m project at Pairc Esler

The GAA in Down has announced the commencement of work on the long awaited final phase of the Pairc Esler, Newry, redevelopment, following the confirmation of grant aid under the Sports Council’s Safety Stadia Programme.

The sum of £800,000 has been allocated from this scheme towards the total cost of £1.2 million now being spent on the completion and roofing of the South Stand, new access and turnstiles, and additional safety and ancillary works.

The balance of the capital expense is being made up from “partnership funding” from within the GAA itself. To qualify for the government grant, issued by the Department of Culture and Leisure (DCAL) under the Safe Stadia programme, Down had to meet a level of “partnership” funding required under the scheme, and this has been provided by Club Down, while additional support has also come from GAA Central Council, the Ulster Council and Newry & Mourne District Council.

The Down GAA County Committee has been working for three years, in conjunction with Club Down, on the plans for this stage of the development. In addition to the completion of the “state of the art” cantilevered grandstand, it is understood that the pitch is to be completely relayed and floodlights will be installed.

Together with the work which has already been done to date, this will mean that by January next, Pairc Esler will be transformed into one of the best appointed GAA grounds in the country.

County Chairman Jerry Quinn announced that the contractors would be on site immediately and there is every optimism that these final major elements of the Pairc Esler redevelopment will be completed in time for next year’s Mc Kenna Cup & National League campaigns.

“Following a stringent tendering process, overseen by the Sports Council, the contract has been awarded to Eamon Murphy Contractors”, Mr Quinn said. “The project will be managed by Brian Laverty, of Delahunt & Laverty, Architects, and a project committee is in place, comprising members of the County Committee and members of Club Down, who will monitor progress and direct the project.”

He thanked the clubs of Down who had borne the greater part of the financial burden of the Pairc Esler project in its initial stages, and Club Down whose role has been crucial in taking over the project when it had stalled and successfully bringing it to completion.

The ground will be closed from June onwards to facilitate the extensive works covered by this phase, which will ultimately give a ground capacity of over 20,000, with some 4,000 seated in the new stand. The stand will also incorporate modern press facilities and special provision for disabled persons, with a lift for access to the higher levels. New crowd control measures with improved CCTV & radio communication systems are all part of the ambitious package of improvements. During the ground closure, Shamrocks GAA will relocate to Derryleckagh for their usual club games.

At the signing of the contract on Friday 9th June at Pairc Esler, Sean O’Neill, former Down All-Star footballer, and now Chairman of Club Down, acknowledged the role of the Danny Murphy and the Ulster Council in bringing the project to this stage, as well as the energy and efforts the officers of Down GAA. He also thanked the representatives of the Sports Council for their diligence and assistance in the grants procedure.

Finally he paid tribute to the Foundation Sponsors and Members of Club Down whose financial support over the past three years has given significant impetus to the future of the GAA in Down.




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