Dalymount Park door not shut on Shelbourne

‘We need to get away from this idea that for one club to be content another has to suffer’

Shelbourne will be welcome at Dalymount Park in the event that the club can resolve its difficulties with leaving Tolka Park and move in with its neighbours at a redeveloped municipal stadium, Bohemians president Matt Devaney has said.

Speaking at a press conference where the agreement to sell the ground to Dublin City Council was confirmed, Devaney said; "we're content but I think in Irish football we need to get away from this idea that for one club to be content another club has to suffer, that's not the way that the league is going to progress. We're disappointed that Shelbourne aren't coming in at this point but they will be welcome, 100 per cent."

Devaney acknowledged that while the deal is a good one for Bohemians in the circumstances, it was “sad” that the club will be losing the ownership of their home. The overwhelming sense at yesterday’s event was, however, one of relief that a ground long “regarded as the Wembley of Irish football,” according to honorary life president Tony O’Connell, is being saved for Irish football.

Daniel Lambert, a key figure in the process for the club, thanked local politicians, particularly Joe Costello (present) and Paschal Donohoe, as well as the city's councillors, the FAI, John Delaney and the club's own members for all helping to make the move possible.

He expressed the hope that the ground will be redeveloped in a way not seen before in Ireland so as to maximise the benefit to the club, council and local community. Cormac Healy, appointed by the council to oversee the project, said it was too early yet to get into specifics but said that having worked so hard to get the purchase over the line, the council is now "excited about pushing ahead," with work set to start immediately on plans for a new Dalymount Park.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is an Assistant News Editor at The Irish Times