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No immediate plans for redevelopment as Pairc Tailteann downsized

Home of Meath GAA looks set to be reduced to 10,000 for the foreseeable future.

Image: ©Credit INPHO/Tom Honan

PAIRC TAILTEANN’S CAPACITY is likely to be capped at just 10,000 seats after the GAA warned the Meath County Board that the ground’s grass verges are unsuitable for spectators.

The Navan venue, which has been the home of Meath GAA since 1935, came under scrutiny after an estimated 20,000 fans packed into it for the recent All-Ireland Football qualifier between the Royals and Kildare.

Following a review by the GAA’s National Infrastructure and Safety (NIS) Committee, it was decided that concrete terraces should be installed if the areas behind both goals are to continue being used.

However, Meath secretary Cyril Creavin told TheScore.ie that any such infrastructural improvements are unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future.

“Plans for the redevelopment of the stadium have been submitted to Croke Park, but in the present climate, the money’s not really there,” Creavin said.

“We’ll have to go to Croke Park next week to meet with the NIS committee to discuss the different possibilities.

“There was a pretty large crowd there [for Meath v Kildare]. Quite a number of spectators were standing on the grass banks behind the goals, but they weren’t chock-a-block by any means.

“A few members from the NIS committee were there that night, and these discussions are a follow-on from what they experienced.

It’s not an edict from on high or anything. I think it is more of an attempt to rattle our cages.

One possible option for Pairc Tailteann is for the GAA and the Leinster Council to redevelop the venue as a new provincial headquarters and central ground.

In January, the Leinster Council released their Strategic Vision and Action Plan for the next five years which identified the development of a central stadium as a priority.

Although Portlaoise’s O’Moore Park is the most obvious existing site for such a project, Creavin says that the Meath County Board would anxious for Navan to be considered.

“There are plans for a new stadium to be developed in the North East to cater for that group of counties and we’ve asked for Navan to be included in that,” he said.

But, according to the Leinster Council’s administration officer Michael Reynolds, such a move is a still a long way off.

“There have been no major developments on the matter since we issued that strategic plan in January,” Reynolds said.

“At present, there are audits being done on all county grounds and the results of those are likely to be presented to Coiste Bainistí in the next few weeks.

Whether the project is at an existing venue or at a a green site, we’re a long way from deciding that.

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Niall Kelly

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