Derelict Galway Airport site should be used for ‘regional stadium’

Michael Fitzmaurice TD proposes idle site be used for concerts, matches and conferences

Galway-Roscommon deputy Michael Fitzmaurice has proposed the derelict Galway Airport site be turned into a regional stadium for Connacht. Image: Google Streetview.

Galway-Roscommon deputy Michael Fitzmaurice has proposed the derelict Galway Airport site be turned into a regional stadium for Connacht. Image: Google Streetview.

 

The derelict Galway Airport site should be developed into a major stadium for Connacht that could host large sporting and music events, an Independent TD has said.

Galway-Roscommon deputy Michael Fitzmaurice said the site, which has sat idle for more than four years, could be developed into a stadium that would compare with Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork.

He said the airport could become the regional venue for all major GAA, rugby and soccer matches, as well as hosting concerts.

The location, about 8km east of Galway city, would also make it an ideal base for a major conference centre, he added. The site’s proximity to the M6 motorway offered potential for a free park-and-ride shuttle service between the venue and the city centre.

Mr Fitzmaurice has already had discussions with representatives of the GAA and FAI about his proposal and has also asked the recently appointed Minister for Rural Affairs Michael Ring to look into the matter.

He said the current stadia in the area, including Pearse Stadium, were inadequate to meet the needs.

Mr Fitzmaurice said “this could be a fantastic facility for the whole Connacht region”.

The airport closed in 2013 after national carriers stopped flying there. The 114 acre site is currently owned by Galway County Council and Galway City Council. It is not completely unused, as Galway Flying Club operates out of it several times a week, and keeps Cessna 172 aircraft in the hangars there.

The council disclosed last year that the cost of security at the site was €80,000 per annum.