Sunday 26 January 2020

€900k grant to get Dalymount plan moving

Bohs director Daniel Lambert
Bohs director Daniel Lambert

Bohemians are hopeful that the allocation of almost €1million in state funding can get the development of Dalymount Park moving and allow the Gypsies, and their Dublin rivals Shelbourne, to be playing in a new-look stadium by 2023.

But the FAI are headed for the courts next week as the owner of Limerick FC, Pat O'Sullivan, has initiated High Court proceedings over the fact that the club have been removed from the SSE Airtricity League.

The project to develop Dalymount into a 6,000-capacity stadium received a major boost when the Department of Sport allocated €918,750 so the first phase of the €34m project can begin.

"This grant had to happen for the project to move on so it's very welcome," says Bohs director Daniel Lambert.

"The next stage is vital, we can now see a design team come in and we'll know exactly what the stadium will look like. This will bring us to a stage where the project is building ready."

Bohs plan to leave the Dalymount site at the end of this season and ground-share at Tolka Park with Shels until the new ground is ready for use.

But issues in the second tier have not gone away with a High Court date on Monday over Limerick FC's removal from the league.

It was confirmed that a new entity, called Limerick United, would field teams at underage, but not senior levels, in the coming season. Chairman Conn Murray said the new outfit "is going to be a bottom-up reboot" of soccer in the city.

He added: "We have a rich tradition in soccer but that has fallen away".

Shamrock Rovers II have been admitted to the First Division for 2020 as Limerick FC's replacement, though opposition to that move is growing and a number of clubs have demanded a meeting with FAI officials this week to state their displeasure.

However, the company which ran Limerick FC last season are demanding that the club be reinstated in the league for 2020.

The Limerick Leader reported that in his affidavit, club chairman Pat O'Sullivan said the refusal of a club licence for 2020 was "wrongful".

"It is a matter for the FAI Club Licensing Bodies and not the National League Executive Committee or the FAI Board to determine acceptance to the League of Ireland First Division by issuing a licence to the applicant," O'Sullivan said in his affidavit.

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