The proposed site for a county grounds development between Heinz factory and DkIT Sport in Dundalk. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Plans for Louth GAA’s new county grounds at DkIT are set for a ‘doomsday’ scenario with the proposal to go before County Council members for ratification on Monday (November 19).
Having been overwhelmingly backed by the Louth County Board in September, the vote was taken off last month’s Council agenda as it had seemingly failed to gain the support required to be passed.
However, in the most crucial stage of the deal to date, the majority of the 29 councillors must vote in accordance with the development of a 12,000 capacity stadium off the Inner Relief Road, otherwise Louth GAA’s grounds attempt will be plunged back to ‘square one’ - again.
It is understood that some councillors are concerned about the price the land is being sold for. Over nine of the 12.14 acre plot is owned by the Council.
Louth GAA’s delegation panel, which consisted of Co. Board treasurer Aidan Berrill, All-Ireland winner Frank Lynch and Peter Fitzpatrick TD, have negotiated a fee of €400,000 with County Manager Joan Martin.
There may also be some resistance from councillors determined to keep the county’s playing base in Drogheda.
With Croke Park on board and willing to fund as much as three-quarters of the potential €8 million development, rejection at this stage would be disastrous for all parties in favour.
It is hoped that the stadium, if passed, will be officially opened by June 2020 and made available to both Louth and DkIT teams for use.
The first part of the development will consist of a seated stand, housing 4,448, opposite an 8,000 capacity terrace. With further upgrades, the potential holding could rise to approximately 22,000.
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