herald

Saturday 10 December 2016

Dublin GAA were €500k short of securing landmark site to build 25,000-capacity stadium

Spawell
Spawell

Dublin GAA were €500,000 short of securing a NAMA-controlled site that could have been used to develop a new 25,000-capacity stadium.

The Dublin County Board had hoped to purchase the landmark Spawell site on the city’s south side for the development of a GAA complex.

Proposed plans for the site included a 25,0000-capacity stadium, synthetic and grass pitches as well as additional training facilities.

However, the bid fell through, with sources saying the figure was €500,000 short, as opposed to the €100,000 it was initially believed to be.

The 35-acre site, located in Templeogue just off the M50, is understood to have been sold for a fee believed to be in the region of €9m.

The land was originally placed on the market with a €6.5m asking price, with Dublin pulling out of the bidding process once the fee exceeded €8.5m.

Dublin currently play some of their home games at Parnell Park in Donnycarney, while Championship matches are played at GAA headquarters in Croke Park.

NAMA controlled the loans relating to the site and the government body has been criticised over the sale.

Dublin County Board Chief Executive John Costello previously launched an attack on NAMA over the sale over what he described as “their failure to acknowledge the role of voluntary organisations in their disposal strategy in the generation of social capital”.

Fine Gael MEP Brain Hayes called on NAMA to provide a full explanation behind the decision to reject the Dublin GAA offer.

Mr Hayes said he was “disappointed” that the GAA’s bid for the Spawell complex was turned down, adding that he believed it “ticks all the boxes” for sport in Dublin.

“The site is perfectly located for a major sporting facility, which the GAA wanted to bring about. I think a full explanation from NAMA is now required,” Mr Hayes said.

NAMA has previously stressed it was not the seller of the site.

“The property is being sold by a receiver who is obliged to accept the highest offer on behalf of the debtor,” a spokesperson said. “The receiver could not have accepted a lower bid simply because it was received from a sporting organisation,” a spokesman said.

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