herald

Friday 19 September 2014

€4,000 giant bouncy ball for stadium launch

A giant inflatable ball has been commissioned to mark the opening of Tallaght Stadium by the local county council, in the hope that years of conflict will be forgotten.

On Saturday, students will play with the f4,000 8m-high ball to mark an end to the controversies surrounding the building of the landmark stadium.

A spokesperson close to the project said: "This site proved to be a major conflict zone, in which two sports clubs (soccer club Shamrock Rovers and the local Gaelic football club Thomas Davis), and South Dublin County Council were the main players.



DISPUTES

"The construction of Tallaght Stadium began in October 2000, but had been delayed due to financial problems and legal disputes between the two sports clubs. Finally, after a long period of court cases, the first soccer game in the finished stadium took place in spring 2009."

Rachel McAree, project manager in Context 3 who oversaw the project, said: "The whole project is called Public Arena and the ball is a major focal point of it.

"The big ball has come about as a symbol of what's going on in the building of the Tallaght Stadium. It is a big empty ball, and it's almost like a punctuation mark for the stadium because it says 'hey, look at this'.

"Local students are going to play with it, and artists will record them playing with it around a football pitch to see how they all respond to it. It's all about getting people to interact with it."

The big ball is part of a wider scheme of public art which has been running in South County Dublin for two years.

After next Saturday's event, the ball will be handed over to the management of the stadium, who will decide its future.

hnews@herald.ie

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