Páirc Uí Chaoimh cost now estimated at €95.8m, says board

Cost includes provision for resurfacing of pitch; remaining league fixtures moved to Páirc Uí Rinn

Cork’s Aidan Walsh is caught in the pitch while avoiding Wexford’s Darren Byrne during the recent Allianz Hurling League Division 1A match at  Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Cork’s Aidan Walsh is caught in the pitch while avoiding Wexford’s Darren Byrne during the recent Allianz Hurling League Division 1A match at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

 

The Cork county board has postponed any further fixtures at Páirc Uí Chaoimh until after the current league campaign, while also stating the final cost of redevelopment of the stadium has risen almost €10 million above the last estimates to €95.8 million.

Earlier this month they announced the pitch surface was not at an acceptable standard and presented an injury risk to players, the latest embarrassment to dog the stadium since its reopening it 2017, the cost of which was at one point estimated to overrun in excess to a figure of €100 million.

In statement released through Croke Park, it was said this amount was now put at an estimated €95.8 million.

“The Board of Páirc Uí Chaoimh asked two members, Michael O’Flynn and Tom Gray, to examine how figures presented in the audited accounts of Cork Co Board for the year ended October 31 2018 and those attributed to Peter McKenna in the Examiner interview on December 14 2018, were arrived at and to clarify the current estimated full cost of the stadium redevelopment.

“The completion of a report into the cost of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh stadium redevelopment has returned an estimated cost of €95.8m.”

That final bill was originally expected to come in just a shade below €80 million, above the original target of €70 million, €30 million of which came from the Government. Then in December, Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna said the cost of redeveloping had escalated to €110 million, almost €25 million higher than the €86 million total estimated following the completion of works last year.

McKenna also suggested that solving Cork’s GAA financial issues is a “10 to 15-year set-up”. GAA president John Horan last month suggested the final figure was more likely between the €86 million and €110 million.

“This report was based on all information made available to the two board members and was presented to the stadium board this afternoon (Wednesday),” added the statement

“In completing the report, Tom Gray and Michael O’Flynn have examined extensive documentation relevant to the redevelopment and have consulted extensively with all stakeholders on all relevant matters. In arriving at the final estimated cost, provision has been made for the full replacement of the pitch at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“In this regard, the Executive of Cork County Board has decided that Cork’s remaining Allianz League fixtures, including the double headers with Ladies Football, will take place at Páirc Uí Rinn.

“A final decision on whether to undertake a full pitch replacement or other remediation work on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch will be taken by the stadium board in the immediate future.”

The problem with the pitch, however, wasn’t expected, even if a more modern surface wasn’t applied. Instead, the original pitch and soil was simply cut up and put in storage, re-laid to the same size in October of 2016, while much of the redevelopment work was still ongoing.

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