Dáil Éireann - Volume 630 - 31 January, 2007
Written Answers. - Sports Funding.
Mr. Rabbitte Mr. Rabbitte
Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism his views on the completion of the Shamrock Rovers stadium in Tallaght; if it remains his position as set out in reply to an adjournment debate on 9 February 2006, that the stadium should be used primarily for soccer and that there would be considerable cost implications and further delays if the stadium had to be adjusted to cater for Gaelic games; the discussions he has had with either the FAI or the GAA with a view to resolving the current dispute; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1852/07]
Mr. O’Donoghue Mr. O’Donoghue
Mr. O’Donoghue: In supporting the provision of a soccer stadium at Tallaght, I am seeking to bring to completion a long-standing project that has been assisted under the Sports Capital Programme. €2.44m has already been provided between 2000 and 2002 towards the development of this facility. In response to approaches from South Dublin County Council, the FAI and Shamrock Rovers FC, I gave a commitment on behalf of the Government that funding would be provided towards the completion of this project as a soccer stadium and I stand over this commitment.
I am advised that a pitch larger than that required for soccer cannot easily be accommodated within the present site. In order to facilitate a pitch suitable for senior Gaelic Games in the stadium, some demolition of existing building work would have to take place or alternatively, the design of the stadium would have to be adjusted and capacity would be reduced. Either of these two paths would clearly lead to further delays and increased costs and some of the expenditure already incurred would be written off if demolition had to take place.
While the stadium is scheduled for completion as a soccer facility, I wish to make it clear once again that I would have no objections to South Dublin County Council, which will manage the facility, sanctioning its use by other sporting bodies compatible with it remaining available for senior soccer fixtures. I understand that the question of underage GAA activities at the completed stadium has been raised and I would welcome such activities, again subject to the compatibility of a soccer pitch with the requirements of the sporting body in question.
I have made my position clear to the GAA at both national and Dublin County Board level on more than one occasion. I am available to meet at any stage with representatives of the Association if it will help to bring this pointless dispute  to an end but I will not countenance any dilution of my long-standing commitment to Shamrock Rovers FC. I am deeply disappointed at the continuing intransigence being displayed by a local GAA club which is persisting with legal action to overturn a decision taken by South Dublin County Council. It is clearly in the best interest of the harmonious development of all sports in the Tallaght area that the club in question should terminate immediately these legal proceedings.
Dáil Éireann 630 Written Answers. Sports Funding.