‘Let us know Páirc costs’ say club delegates about planned expansion

Cork board chiefs agree but insist it's still an early stage for proposals to add a cafe and GAA museum
‘Let us know Páirc costs’ say club delegates about planned expansion

Marc Sheehan, chairman Cork County Board, said there is a compelling case for the expansion, but it's still in the very early stage yet. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CLUB delegates want to be kept up to date with the county board’s expansion plans for Páirc Uí Chaoimh which include a GAA museum, visitor centre, coffee shop and licensed restaurant.

John O’Flynn (Freemount) spoke on the matter at the county board meeting during the week which was again held remotely and had an audience of over 150.

“I acknowledge the great work the board of directors are doing on behalf of the stadium, but I believe there should be a small bit more accountability to the actual county board in terms of what happens,” he told the meeting.

“It’s the same as any decision. When the executive makes a decision, it has to be rubberstamped by the county board.

“I would be hoping that something like this would happen with Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

“We would find out some information in relation to what finance is being spent on the stadium.

“It’s not nice as a board delegate to be reading in the paper about the expense involved in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

“The county board should be made aware of it and there are a lot of questions which need to be raised, like the cost, how it’s going to be financed and are these activities going to be profitable?

“I’ve been at this for the last few years and we got final accounts for the stadium which we should have got earlier.

“I’m still going to be pressing for profit and loss account because at the end of the day the debt on Pairc Ui Chaoimh is sitting in the county board.

“If there are any losses it’s the county board who will ultimately be responsible.

“We need to be part of what’s happening and aware of it. We must have it explained to us.

“I would hope with something like this expansion that we would get information and some justification for the spending and how it’s going to be financed.

“There has to be more accountability to the county board though it has improved,” O’Flynn added.

John O'Flynn Diarmuid Gould, Tracey Kennedy, chairperson Cork GAA and John O'Sullivan at the Tribute and celebration in honour of Dr Con Murphy. Picture: Brian Lougheed
John O'Flynn Diarmuid Gould, Tracey Kennedy, chairperson Cork GAA and John O'Sullivan at the Tribute and celebration in honour of Dr Con Murphy. Picture: Brian Lougheed

Kevin O’Donovan, the board’s CEO/Sec, agreed with the delegate.

“I concur totally with what John has said. All that’s involved like the cost and all that will come.

“The issue with this is as all know that planning processes are delicate and there are discussions with city council and so on.

“We haven’t gone public with this yet. We believe there is work to be done in relation to certain aspects. The story is in the media,” he said.

Chairman Marc Sheahan said: “There is a compelling case for this element of the work, but it’s in the very early stage yet.

“We will be outlining more details, when it’s appropriate to do so.”

Delegates were also informed that outgoing GAA President John Horan is to remain on as chairman of the stadium’s board of directors.

“John has kindly agreed to stay on as chair of the stadium board and he’s fulfilling that role on a voluntary basis now,” O’Donovan said. “The county board executive nominated Michael O’Flynn and John Mullins who are doing incredible work.

“Central Council nominated Ger Mulryan and Colm Morgan, who is a newcomer, while the Croke Park board have three nominations, John Moore, John Murphy from Sligo and Tom Gray from Dublin.”

Páirc Uí Chaoimh is being used as a Covid-19 vaccination centre and is seeing large numbers of people on a daily basis.

“We’ve a small team involved and they’re doing a great job, notwithstanding there are other external resources, too, like security, provided by the HSE.

“It’s great for the stadium and people may not be aware of the foresight by the people involved in the stadium now coming home to bear in terms of the exits and so on. It’s a really good successful model.

“We are looking forward to Sunday’s game and while there won’t be any crowd all our procedures must still be in place.”

The meeting was also told that Cork’s ladies football and camogie teams will also be playing at Pairc Ui Chaoimh during the year.

“I won’t be making any big announcements here, but we will be facility camogie and ladies football teams, as we should. Our door is open and they are welcome as ever."

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