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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 26 April, 2019

'This is our Croke Park down here'

Dr Con Murphy takes a tour of the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh ahead of the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

FEW PEOPLE CAN claim to know Páirc Uí Chaoimh as well as Dr Con Murphy does.

The well-known medic for Cork’s GAA teams was on duty when it opened in June 1976. Over 40 years later, he’s still going strong as the stadium returns following a significant makeover.

A general view of Pairc Ui Chaoimh during the match Páirc Uí Chaoimh reopened last night. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

The home of the GAA on Leeside reopened last night with a Cork premier intermediate hurling championship game between Valley Rovers and Blarney.

However, the grand unveiling will take place this weekend when the 45,000-capacity arena hosts both All-Ireland senior hurling quarter-finals — Tipperary versus Clare on Saturday, Waterford versus Wexford on Sunday.

Ahead of its reopening, Dr Con was taken on a tour of the stadium courtesy of Centra, one of the sponsors of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship.

Source: CentraIreland/YouTube

“We’re very proud of this stadium. It looks fantastic. Over the years it’s been a great place for Cork people to come,” he said.

“Croke Park is the number one stadium but this is very close for us. This is our Croke Park down here and we’re going to hopefully have many happy days here. I’m sure we’ll have a lot of heartache here as well, but looking forward to it immensely.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Cork team come out on the pitch and the welcome they’ll get. It’ll be a very special, nostalgic occasion. I hope I’m around for it.”

Corkonians out in force for second coming of the Páirc — but not as we know it

In pics: The turnstiles open for the first game at the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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Paul Dollery

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