Connacht GAA is to build a new indoor facility by the end of this year which will be capable of hosting games in next year’s Connacht League.
The news emerged at yesterday’s launch of the Connacht GAA Football Championship.
We believe that were such a game to be staged it could be a GAA first though the second phase of the National Indoor Arena at the Sport Ireland National Sports campus will be operational shortly and could yet steal a march.
The project is being constructed by way of an ‘Air Dome’ similar to those you would see at Tennis facilities around the country but on a big enough scale to house a full-size GAA pitch.
It will also have a facility for up to 600 spectators.
The facility is being built at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence near Ballyhaunis in Mayo and work will commence after the National John West Féile na Gael competition is held there in June.
In an ambitious build programme that might be glanced at by those constructing the National Children’s Hospital the project aims to be completed within five months.
Funding of €2.1 Million has already been secured through the Government’s Rural Regeneration Fund and no additional outlay will be sought from clubs or county boards.
It is envisaged that the dome will mainly be used for coaching and games development though it will be marked out for a full-size pitch and will be 26 metres high, around the same height as a six-story building.