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Dublin: 2 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

Tallaght Stadium set for new €1.9 million south stand ahead of 2018 season

Independent Socialist Councillor Dermot Looney tells The42 that the long-term plan is to have four stands in place.

Tallaght Stadium (file pic).
Tallaght Stadium (file pic).
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

FURTHER DETAILS HAVE emerged of the new stand set to be erected in Tallaght Stadium, home of League of Ireland Premier Division club Shamrock Rovers FC and the Republic of Ireland women’s team.

The initiative, which has been in the works for a while and is being funded by South Dublin County Council, will have an approximate cost of €1.9 million plus VAT.

The stand is due to be ready in time for the 2018 League of Ireland season, with the construction process set to begin in 2017, while the stadium’s development will mean the stadium can be classified as a Uefa category four standard.

This classification is necessary for the ground to host Europa League and Champions League group stage games, with temporary structures having previously been put in place in Tallaght in order to facilitate these events.

The new stand will increase the ground’s official capacity from 6,000 to 8,000 (the minimum required for category four stadiums), while plans are in place for the stadium to meet all other Uefa requirements by 2018.

Following a South Dublin County Council meeting yesterday, it was confirmed that the stand would be in the south end of the ground, behind which the car park is situated.

Speaking to The42, Independent Socialist Councillor Dermot Looney said that the plan was to “eventually” have stands on all four sides of the stadium, which is owned and managed by the council with Shamrock Rovers as the anchor tenants.

Looney also explained the reasoning behind putting the stand in the south rather than the north end of the ground: “I go to a lot of games there myself and anyone who goes to games there (will know that) on a windy day, the wind comes down from the mountains. If you put a stand on the north end of the ground, the wind would come in towards you and the wind tunnel effect on the ground would be increased, so by putting it at the south end, it kind of blocks that coming down as well.”

It is hoped that the new measures will make the stadium more attractive for football fans as well as encouraging the hosting of concerts and other sporting events.

There’s talk of how the stadium might fit into the Rugby World Cup bid, probably more so as a training venue, but possibly more (events) in future — Leinster do play friendlies there at the moment,” Looney added.

The building works are not expected to impact on any games in the ground next season, while Looney, who is a big St Patrick’s Athletic fan, is hopeful that similar initiatives will follow at other League of Ireland clubs.

“It’s a really positive news story with Dalymount (being redeveloped) as well in terms of the involvement of the FAI and the City Council.

As a Pat’s fan, I think the City Council also need to look to the south side of the city and work with St Pat’s. There has been early work for a project in Michael’s, which seems to be going not particularly fast at the moment, but I think it’s important that the City Council support Pat’s in terms of what we’re looking for — a revamped ground or a move that would still take place in Inchicore.

“If you look on the continent, support from municipal authorities for stadiums is significant. It brings in money to the area, it provides facilities not just for the professional teams but for other groups and teams, it supports health and wellbeing and that community spirit, which is really important for councils to do, so I would like to see it across Ireland.”

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Paul Fennessy

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