Editorial: New stadium is good news for Louth, but not for Dundalk
Drogheda will have itself a brand new 3000 seater football stadium (with the possibility of that being upped to 10,000) following yesterday's announcement.
This is good news for soccer in County Louth. Make no mistake, Louth needs decent arenas for sport, and any addition to a very limited and creaking number is to be applauded, and both Louth County Council and the FAI have done a job in getting this off the ground - and quietly too.
Drogheda United will have the chance to grace this modern stadium once completed - richly deserved on that front too. Every footballer or sportsperson deserves the chance to play in venues which are not just fit for purpose, but can also instill pride and inspire kids watching on from brand new seats within clean-lined modern stands.
Now for the ‘but'.
As always, the division between north and south Louth plays into this somewhat - whether we like to admit it or not. Right now, Dundalk is sorely lacking a facility of equivalence.
Dundalk FC are flying high in the League of Ireland and are making inroads every year into European competition.
But, even away from the Lilywhites - and their foreign owners of considerable means - there is a vast, well-supported network of junior and underage soccer and sports clubs in north Louth which would benefit enormously now, and into the future from having the chance to use such a modern facility.
Equally, this new development shines a light - once more - on the interminable saga of a county ground for GAA in Louth.
In this regard, although there might be some griping from up this end, if, at some stage in the future a county ground were to be built, and was located in Drogheda, most gaels the length and breadth of the Wee County would be only too delighted to have a ground which was fit to host intercounty league matches and championship clashes.
But, it’s also a matter of pride at this stage too.
How many more years must sport in Dundalk suffer with inferior facilities, while the want and overwhelming need is quite clearly there to see for those who can effect change and actually do something about it?