Refurbished Páirc Uí Chaoimh officially opens

The 45,000-seater stadium is on long list of stadiums in IRFU’s bid for 2023 World Cup

Minister Shane Ross described the stadium as a major addition to not just Cork but to Ireland. Photograph: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Minister Shane Ross described the stadium as a major addition to not just Cork but to Ireland. Photograph: Bryan Keane/INPHO

 

The €80 million newly-refurbished Páirc Uí Chaoimh was praised by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross at the official opening of the stadium on Sunday.

Mr Ross described the stadium as a major addition to not just Cork but to Ireland, particularly when the country was bidding to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“Ireland has put in a comprehensive, strong and competitive bid which as the full support of the Government and all other political parties. The entire population of the island of Ireland supports this bid and would make it a tournament like no other, full of Irish spirit,” he said.

Long list

Noting the 45,000 capacity arena had been included in Ireland’s long list of stadia in the IRFU’s bid, Mr Ross congratulated the GAA and the Cork County Board on developing such a fine stadium.

GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl unveiled a plaque after recalling that while the GAA was founded in Thurles in November 1884, the first actual working meeting of the new body took place on Leeside a month later.

Mr O Fearghaíl said hurling and football had been played on or near the Páirc Uí Chaoimh site in Ballintemple for more than 130 years.

“It is a world-class stadium and people deserve that – we are by far the most popular sport on the island of Ireland. We are pleased about that but we are not complacent and facilities play an important part in our success,” Mr Ó Fearghaíl said.