Cathal Noonan/INPHO

'It is a pity that NAMA couldn’t do something' - Dubs stadium bid

The former Dublin goalkeeper has criticised NAMA’s rejection of the Dubs’ offer to buy the Spawell Complex.

DUBLIN LEGEND JOHN O’Leary thinks NAMA could have done something for the sports community if they had accepted Dublin GAA’s bid for the Spawell Complex.

The county board were looking to buy the 35-acre site to develop a cluster of football pitches just off the M50 and there may also have been plans to build a stadium there further down the line.

The property was on the market for €6.5 million and the Dubs are understood to have bid considerably more than that, but NAMA received a higher offer, leaving Dublin’s bid obsolete.

O’Leary feels it’s a missed opportunity to help the community.

“You could be critical. The problem is, no one knows the full story from looking in from the outside.

“There has been lots of opportunities for the likes of NAMA or people who had a property portfolio to do something for the sports community.”

“So I would be going from the GAA angle, I’d be going at it from a sporting angle for the town itself, because there are lots of sports crying out for facilities.”

From a community point of view, it is a pity that NAMA couldn’t do something like that. Something that would be part of the Dublin culture.

Bord Gáis Energy Legends Tour Launch John O'Leary was speaking at the launch of the 2015 Bord Gáis Energy Legends Tour at Croke Park. SPORTSFILE SPORTSFILE

A new medium-sized stadium being built in an accessible area beside the M50 has been discussed in recent times, as Parnell Park is too small to host Dublin league games and the cost of opening Croke Park for a relatively small crowd is too high.

O’Leary thinks it would be the right step but it would be a question of economics.

“While there might be a great will to do it, I think economics will be the bottom line.

“And then, if you build it, what’s the sustainability of it after that. Or would you co-locate with some other sport?

“Maybe have it going all the time as a sort of community project for Dublin, with maybe soccer and rugby and other sports using it as well.”

General view of Parnell park ahead of the game Parnell Park Tommy Grealy / INPHO Tommy Grealy / INPHO / INPHO

“I think it is inevitable in some way that we need to expand to have something that’s between Croke Park and Parnell Park and can cater for a crowd double the size of Parnell.”

Then you can get your home league games out of Croke Park and maybe some of your home championship games. It’d be interested to see it.

The Dublin hurlers and footballers are only guaranteed six home league games between them each year, so how best to pay off the multi-million euro stadium would come into the question.

O’Leary believes playing home championship matches in the early stages of Leinster would make sense.

Dublin fans on Hill 16 Dublin fans in Croke Park Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

“Will it be underused? The answer may well be ‘yes’ unless you can attract other sports or other community projects in it.”

“Should Dublin play some of their championship matches there? Well, I’ve never had any problem with Dublin playing their early championship matches out of Croke Park.”

Dubs still on the lookout for new stadium location after multi-million Spawell bid fails

Clare hurlers do charity crossbar challenge and Davy calls on Waterford to go next

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.