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Dublin: 8 °C Saturday 25 January, 2020

St Pat's 'disappointed' with housing plans announced for proposed site of new stadium

The club’s hopes of building a 12,000-seater ground at St Michael’s Estate appear to been dashed.

The proposed 12,000 seater Richmond Arena.
The proposed 12,000 seater Richmond Arena.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC have expressed disappointment with today’s announcement on the proposed development of St Michael’s Estate in Inchicore.

470 new homes are set to be built as part of Ireland’s first-ever ‘cost rental’ housing scheme, Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has revealed.

It is a serious blow to the club’s hopes of building a new 12,000-seater stadium, which included housing, retail and community facilities for the local area.

Pat’s club president Tom O’Mahony said the news represented “a huge missed opportunity for the community of Inchicore and the wider area”.

In April, the League of Ireland side launched plans for a new state-of-the-art stadium as part of a major development in Inchicore, which would also include 500 new houses and a shopping complex.

St Pat’s said the construction of the ground at St Michael’s would be financially independent and not reliant on government funding.

Those plans have suffered a major setback, however, with Minister Murphy announcing the ‘cost rental’ model for the site.

“St Patrick’s Athletic FC is very disappointed with today’s announcement on the proposed development of St Michael’s Estate,” the club said in a lengthy statement.

“It represents a huge missed opportunity for the community of Inchicore and the wider area. We are pleased that there will be a public consultation process and we will engage fully with this in the hope that the proposal can be expanded to deliver a better result for the community.

New St Michael's Estate The new plans announced today for St Michael's. Source: Department of Housing/Dublin City Council

“Every benefit that is included in the announcement, including housing, retail and community facilities, can be delivered on a bigger and better scale under the alternative proposal put forward by St Patrick’s Athletic, which is based on the use of two adjacent sites – St Michael’s Estate and Richmond Park – as opposed to the one site covered by the announcement. Our plan as designed incorporates 520 housing units across the two sites.

“The Town Centre which our proposal would deliver for Inchicore was widely recognised to be a “game changer” which would provide regeneration, employment and vastly improved retail and community facilities for a community which has been badly left behind in the Celtic Tiger era and subsequently. This can be delivered side by side with the complete housing package set out in today’s announcement.

In our view, the supermarket and/or smaller retail and limited community facilities, which the announcement suggests could be delivered in a later phase, falls very far short of what Inchicore needs if real regeneration is to take place.

“In addition, our proposal would provide a new stadium for a club which has been integral to the community for many generations, a stadium which would be an asset not just for Irish football, capable of hosting various level European and international ties but also other events.”

You can read the statement in full here.

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Aaron Gallagher

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