The GAA, FAI and IRFU have all warmly welcomed the news that the second phase of construction at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena is to go ahead for delivery in the summer of 2019.
They are the three biggest beneficiaries of the decision to proceed with a new build that will have full size indoor soccer and GAA pitch facilities as well as a half size rugby pitch and ancillary facilities.
The GAA National Development Centre and pitches are already in use at the Campus to the west of Dublin which also houses the FAI Headquarters and another impressive group of pitches where the national teams train. Rugby’s development at the Campus has yet to begin but is expected to shortly.
Read More Indoor Arena Completion Gets Green Light
It has been a big week for the Campus which on Tuesday morning also welcomed news that the 2018 European Para Swimming Championships were to be held at the National Aquatic Centre.
“The first class GAA facilities located at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus have been a wonderful addition to the opportunities to grow and develop Gaelic games,” said GAA Director General Páraic Duffy.
“Since opening last year, our National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown has been a hive of activity at club, school and county level.
“The GAA warmly welcomes the news about the commencement of Phase Two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena and the exciting development that will feature the construction of an indoor synthetic pitch capable of accommodating Gaelic games.”
CEO of the FAI John Delaney also welcomed the announcement yesterday by Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.
“The National Indoor Arena is a terrific sporting hub and with the development of a pitch it will facilitate with the preparation of our elite football players and will give access for the participation of grassroots players in a world class facility.”
“This announcement demonstrates the ongoing partnership and positive working relationship between the FAI, Sport Ireland and Government.”
“The announcement is of huge significance to our games,” added IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne.
“It is recognised that year-on-year teams competing against the best in the world must improve performance, and this project will allow all those who work at developing Ireland’s top athletes to come together in a centre of excellence, which can foster shared learning and development of Ireland’s elite athletes across all codes.
“It will be a significant leap forward for rugby, as, for the first time in our history we will have a central training base for all of our teams, who will benefit from world-class facilities. We know from experience that improvements and investment off the pitch result in improvements and performance on the pitch and we congratulate and thank Minister Ross, the government and Sport Ireland for their support.”
“The completion of the Sport Ireland National Arena is a welcome development for sport in Ireland,” concluded Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey.
“The Arena is co-located with the Sport Ireland Institute and outdoor training facilities meaning the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus will be a one-stop-shop for our international athletes and elite teams, as well as providing opportunities for grassroots clubs and the local community. I would like to thank Minister Ross and the officials of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for their support for this project which will no doubt have a measurable impact on Irish sport.”
There was no formal reaction from Cycling Ireland who are understood to be disappointed that this development has been favoured for now over that of a new indoor velodrome on the Campus.
Find out more about our next major event looking at the impact of Sport for Social Good in September 2017.