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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019

St Pat's hope to resurrect plans for 12,000-seater stadium by putting pressure on local politicians

The club have drawn up plans for a new stadium which would form part of a major development in Inchicore.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC have not given up hope of completing plans for a new 12,000-seater stadium and have asked the public to put pressure on politicians as next month’s local elections loom.

download A sketch of the proposed 12,000-seater Richmond Arena.

In April 2018 the League of Ireland club revealed plans for a new state-of-the-art stadium which would incorporate retail and community facilities to help rejuvenate the local Inchicore area.

The financially-independent plan included 500 new houses and a shopping complex to be built at St Michael’s Estate. Under the proposals led by St Pat’s owner Garrett Kelleher, the project would require no government funding.

The proposal was dealt a major setback last July, however, as Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy announced plans for 470 new homes to be built as part of Ireland’s first-ever ‘cost rental’ housing scheme at St Michael’s Estate.

In a statement released on Tuesday, club president Tom O’Mahony said the Saints would not be giving up on their proposal and urged locals to contact their representatives to try and breath new life into the project.

“Our proposal was an imaginative and very feasible solution to some key needs of Dublin City. The City Development Plan envisages the development of a high-quality, vibrant, mixed-use urban quarter which will help to regenerate Inchicore, while the housing crisis is the most critical issue facing our city,” he said.

General View of Richmond Park The new stadium would be built at the site of St Michael's Estate, which is across the road from Richmond Park. Source: James Crombie

“Had our proposal been accepted, we would now be looking at a realistic date of 2022 for completion of this project, with all of the benefits it would bring to Inchicore and West Dublin more generally.

The statement added: “We are extremely disappointed and frustrated that, under pressure from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Dublin City Council, as of now, is planning a much more limited development of St Michael’s Estate which will throw away, forever, the once-off opportunity which our proposal offers for a major enhancement of Inchicore.

“The people of Inchicore and West Dublin will have many opportunities to meet Councillors and would-be Councillors in the coming weeks, as they canvass votes for next month’s local elections.

“We would encourage everyone to make sure that the members of the next City Council, who will decide on this issue in due course, are left in no doubt as to the type of development their constituents wish to see in Inchicore.”

A view of Richmond Park 10/8/2018 The Saints currently play at Richmond Park. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

St Pat’s say Dublin City Council are still in the early stages of developing the detail of their own proposal and said the football club’s alternative, which would feature the new 12,000-seater ground, housing and retail facilities, offered a more comprehensive benefit to Inchicore.

“[DCC's proposed cost rental scheme] can’t proceed until the Councillors approve it, so at some point the elected members will have to decide on whether Inchicore should be used for the experiment as proposed or whether it should get the much greater benefits that would be delivered under our plan,” St Pat’s added.

You can read Tuesday’s statement in full here.

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Aaron Gallagher

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