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Tallaght Stadium, home to Shamrock Rovers since its opening in March 2009.
Tallaght Stadium, home to Shamrock Rovers since its opening in March 2009.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

"The Robbie Keane Stand" - coming soon to Tallaght Stadium?

Motion to consider renaming a stand in the striker’s honour was passed by Tallaght Area Committee this afternoon.
Jun 20th 2011, 6:26 PM 913 0

HE’S SCORED 51 international goals for his country and cost upwards of £70m in cumulative transfer fees – now discussions are underway to immortalise Robbie Keane by naming a stand in Tallaght Stadium in his honour.

The Tallaght Area Committee of South Dublin County Council passed a motion from Labour Councillor Mick Duff this afternoon, calling on the County Manager “to acknowledge Robbie Keane’s unique record of being the first Irish or British player to score over 50 goals in International football.”

In recognition of this extraordinary achievement by a citizen of the County and considering his position as a positive role model to all young people in Tallaght and beyond, this Committee suggests that consideration should be given to naming a stand in Tallaght Stadium the “Robbie Keane Stand” to acknowledge his remarkable talents and achievements.

The motion to consider renaming a stand will now be heard by South Dublin County Council, possibly as early as the next meeting which is scheduled to take place on 11 July.

There are some concerns, however, that the discussions to rename part of the Dublin 24 stadium will not be welcomed by fans of Shamrock Rovers. The Airtricity League club have been the long-term tenants on Whitestown Way since the stadium opened in March 2009.

Councillor Dermot Looney, who spoke on the motion at today’s meeting, told TheScore.ie that a number of Rovers fans had already contacted him to express their dissatisfaction with the proposal, a position which he feels is perfectly understandable.

“I don’t have a particular problem with a motion to consider renaming a stand,” Looney said. “Robbie Keane is a Tallaght legend and a hero of Irish football, but you can’t really discuss the idea without input from Shamrock Rovers and their fans.”

Tallaght Stadium is a municipal stadium, but Shamrock Rovers are the long-term tenants. If I was a fan of a football club in this situation, I would hope that our home ground would remain reflective of our club.

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“Shamrock Rovers are the heart and soul of that ground and already, a number of their fans have contacted me to say that they are unhappy with the discussions.”

Alternatives

There are a number of other alternatives for commemorating Keane, who was awarded the Freedom of South Dublin alongside Damien Duff and Richard Dunne at a ceremony in October 2007. A separate motion at today’s meeting proposed that pitch fees continue to be waived for financially-disadvantaged soccer teams in Fettercairn, Killinarden and Jobstown, an idea which would be seen by many as a much more suitable way of commemorating Robbie Keane.

Looney indicated that the next step in the process was for the motion to go to a review stage where he hopes that both Shamrock Rovers and the club’s fan representatives will have an opportunity to have their say.

Councillor Mick Duff was unavailable for comment when contacted by TheScore.ie this afternoon.

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Niall Kelly

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