herald

Saturday 19 January 2019

Hoops fans shocked by plan for 'Robbie Keane stand'

IRISH soccer star Robbie Keane looks set to be honoured at Tallaght Stadium where a stand could be named after him -- even though he's never played for Shamrock Rovers.

Cllr Mick Duff has surprised Hoops fans by suggesting that Keane's achievement of scoring more than 50 international goals be recognised at the stadium.

But the soccer club, which is a tenant at the stadium, says the move is the council's decision, because it owns it.

A spokesperson said: "Obviously the motion was only passed on Monday. We haven't heard anything about it. The council owns the stadium on behalf of the community and if they think it should happen, it's up to them.

"We wouldn't have any say. If they want to name the stadium, it's up to them."

She added that none of their fans had complained about the council's proposed move so far.

Cllr Duff said the response had been positive, and that all councillors backed the proposal, which will be brought to a full council meeting before any decision is made.







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"Shamrock Rovers is only a team in that stadium. They're only tenants there. It's council- owned and therefore it belongs to the people of Tallaght. I think it's very, very important. Robbie Keane is an excellent role model for people in Tallaght. He's an inspiration and he's been very good for local soccer."

The council granted the freedom of South Dublin County Council to the star in 2007 to honour his achievements on the pitch.

A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: "There have been some suggestions that this council should acknowledge in an appropriate way Robbie Keane's most recent achievement in breaking this goal-scoring record.

"When Tallaght Stadium was under construction, a decision was taken to officially name it 'Tallaght Stadium' with the intention that if the issue of naming rights should arise, the stadium would be "clean" and that the stadium in its entirety, or some of its components, could avail of commercial naming rights for financial reasons."

And while he explained it may be premature to name any of the stands, Cllr Duff's suggestion would be considered in a review over the summer months.

hnews@herald.ie

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