herald

Monday 22 December 2014

Ever wanted to see Dublin from 17 storeys up? A new skyline tour at Croke Park will wow thrillseekers, and fans

DUBLINERS and tourists are about to experience the capital from dizzying new heights -- from the roof top of Croker.

The highly anticipated Etihad Skyline tour, Ireland's very own version of the London Eye or Eiffel Tower, is gearing up to open to the public on June 1 and the Herald went along to enjoy the sights of the city from HQ.

Five viewing platforms 44 metres - or 17 storeys - up allow panoramic views of up to three miles, sweeping over some of Dublin's favourite spots, including the Botanic Gardens, Phoenix Park and Guinness Storehouse.

For the more daring customers, the 'OMG' walkway out over the pitch has been constructed for that extra wow factor -- and staff have revealed they'll be offering the All-Ireland champion Dubs a free tour for all their hard work on the field.

Bosses insisted they're "delighted" with the results of their €1.4m spend and stadium director Peter McKenna said they couldn't be more proud of their all-Irish design team.

"There's been a three month design process for this. We had to be conscious of weight and loads. We did a lot of this work when we put our flood lights up so that was the initial take on it as well as hanging screens off the roof too, which added to the weight load. We're very, very pleased, it feels very safe."

Mr McKenna said the tour is expected to become a first stop destination for visitors and is exactly what Dublin needs to compete with bigger European cities.

The tour will cost €25 per person and is expected to stay open all-year round, with fewer tours taking place in winter.

"We would hope to get somewhere around 25,000 people in to take the tour. We really see this as being a contribution to Dublin's tourism offering.

"It's a great place for tourists to come, there's never been a vantage point in Dublin -- if you're in London you check out the London Eye or in Paris you go to the Eiffel Tower. This is a real vantage point for the city.

"The real avid, hardcore GAA fan will want to be up here too because you're not going to get a better view of Croke Park and you get a proper sense of the pitch."

labutler@herald.ie

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