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Moving in together! Bohemians and Shelbourne to share redeveloped Dalymount Park

An agreement has been reached with Dublin City Council for the clubs to become co-anchor tenants.

Dalymount Park is set for a €20 million redevelopment.
Dalymount Park is set for a €20 million redevelopment.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

TWO OF IRELAND’S most successful football clubs, Bohemians and Shelbourne, will groundshare a redeveloped Dalymount Park, it has been confirmed this morning.

An agreement has been reached between Dublin City Council (DCC) and the two League of Ireland clubs for Shelbourne to relocate to the Phibsborough venue once its €20 million redevelopment is complete.

Dalymount Park was purchased by DCC in a deal worth €3.8 million last June and the revamp will see the stadium’s capacity increase to 10,000.

“The decision to leave Tolka was a difficult one for both the Directors of Shelbourne FC Ltd and for  the Board of Management of the Club,” a Shelbourne FC statement read.

“It has been our home for almost three decades and during these years the Club enjoyed tremendous success there.

“Both the Directors and the Club’s Board of Management are united in the view that the time is right to start planning a move to pastures new. Tolka Park is increasingly showing its age and there was no prospect of attracting investment to redevelop.”

A general view of Tolka Park Tolka Park. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Shelbourne have been playing their home games at Tolka Park since 1989 after acquiring a long-term lease from the Dublin Corporation, now DCC.

The Drumcondra venue has played host to some of Irish football’s most memorable days, including international matches and Shelbourne’s Champions League ties.

The future of the ground has been in doubt for some time after Shels sold the facility to a local businessman in 2006.

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Today’s announcement has been heralded as a new ‘dawn for League of Ireland football.’

“Shelbourne FC now looks forward to being part of the Steering Group which will be established to ensure that the redeveloped Dalymount Park heralds a new dawn for League of Ireland football on the Northside of the Liffey and indeed throughout the country,” the statement added.

“We look forward to working with Bohemian FC and while remaining foes on the pitch, hope to work tirelessly off it to ensure the project ahead is a success.”

Construction work on Dalymount Park is unlikely to begin until 2018 or 2019 with the first phase of the redevelopment involving the installation of an artificial pitch and the construction of a new 4,500-seater main stand.

download (1) An early artists's drawing of a redeveloped Dalymount Park. Source: Dublin City Council

Club offices, a warm-up area, community rooms and a new ‘Hall of Fame’ museum will also be housed in the stand while the plans include new entrances to the ground from St Peter’s Road and Connaught Street.

The construction of seating behind both goals, and a second stand on the Connaught Street side, will only commence following the redevelopment of the neighbouring Phibsborough Shopping Centre.

Bohemians will be forced to play their home games at Tolka Park during the building work.

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