A view of Oriel Park ahead of last weekend's game versus Finn Harps. Credit: Sportsfile
A revamped Oriel Park is something that supporters have been clambering to get for what seems like an eternity, with fans asking for a ground that is fitting of their recent success and profile as one of the country’s top clubs.
It might only be baby steps but plans to improve the facilities at the Carrickmacross Road venue have moved up a gear with the establishment of a Stadium & Facilities Redevelopment group that will focus on creating a centre for sport, entertainment and business in the Northeast.
The group consists of local Fianna Fáil councillor Seán Kelly, Fine Gael Senator John McGahon and Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú along with Brendan Ogle, Trade Union Official for Unite Ireland and chair of the newly-formed Dundalk FC Supporters’ Club, the 1903.
Former public servant Anne Caldwell, long-standing fan and club volunteer, Damien Mackin, Dundalk FC Sporting Director Jim Magilton, Stadium Manager Aaron Lawless and local businessperson Paddy Casey are also involved to make sure all stakeholders have a say in Oriel’s future.
The Stadium & Facilities Redevelopment Group will engage with the local council and its chief executive as well as all relevant national Government and sporting bodies to support the initiative.
“The establishment of this Stadium & Facilities Redevelopment Group is a crucial first step in the development of a stadium befitting this club and town,” said Jim Magilton in a statement released on the club’s website earlier today.
“The support of fans and townspeople will be crucial to driving this project forward. We all want a stadium and supporting facility that the club, locals and fans – both old and new – can be proud of. We all want a stadium that is accessible for all fans, with facilities that enrich the local community.”
“We all want a stadium and facilities that are welcoming for opposition fans, at least off the pitch. We will strive, as a group, to make this happen. I’d like to thank Paddy Casey and Aaron Lawless for their tireless work in pulling together what is a fantastic working group. We can’t wait to get started.”
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