GAA President to mark the start of Louth’s stadium build as cash injection boosts coffers
GAA President John Horan will mark the official start of Louth’s stadium build in Dundalk by turning the sod at a ceremony next Monday afternoon.
The news comes in the aftermath of a meeting involving County Board chairman Peter Fitzpatrick and treasurer Aidan Berrill, with Horan and GAA Ard Stiúrthóir Tom Ryan at Croke Park last Tuesday, which saw the central body’s chiefs assure Louth’s delegation of their support for the project.
Furthermore, The Democrat has learned that a private firm will contribute, in instalments, money to the tune of the amount which the grounds committee had hoped would come via a government grant, approximately €400,000.
Minister for Sport Shane Ross revealed in a text message to Fitzpatrick last Monday that Louth had been left off the list of financial beneficiaries, despite previously indicating they would be in receipt of a windfall boost.
Fitzpatrick declared Ross’ decision as “a setback” at a gathering of the county committee that night, but suggested that getting the stadium development underway as quickly as possible would be one of his “red line issues” should he secure re-election to the Dáil.
“John Horan is coming down to tell the people of Louth that Croke Park are fully behind the project,” Fitzpatrick told The Democrat.
“No matter what setbacks there are on the road, this stadium is going ahead.”
The Clan na Gael clubman envisages the structural erection beginning in September, for a stadium which will hold just over 14,000 when built, with the capacity for expansion.
A projected figure of €12 million has been set for the ground’s development, as much as two-thirds of which is expected to be funded by Croke Park.
Report: Caoimhín Reilly