Dublin GAA chairman Sean Shanley has ruled out the possibility of a new 30,000 capacity stadium being built in the capital to accommodate Dublin’s ‘home’ fixtures.
The subject of where Dublin play their ‘home’ games has been the topic of conversation over the last number of days after a Donegal motion to prevent Dublin from nominating Croke Park as their ‘home’ venue in the ‘Super 8’s” was easily defeated at Congress.
During a heated debate at Congress last Saturday – Dublin CEO John Costello labeled the motion ‘divisive and mean spirited’, while former GAA President Seán Kelly from Kerry remarked, “This is a very negative motion and deserves a negative response.”
And a negative response is what it received from the delegates in attendance with the Donegal motion only receiving the support of 36% of the delegates and was subsequently defeated.
Costello also stated during the debate that if the motion was passed it would be a “public relations disaster” for the GAA having to turn away thousands of supporters.
He stated that Dublin’s core support can be put at 35,000 which once again opened the discussion with the capacity at Parnell Park only 8,500, that a new alternative venue in the capital be built to accommodate the Sky Blues ‘home’ fixtures.
But Dublin chairman Sean Shanley firmly believes that’s a non-runner and if it did happen it would leave Croke Park idle.
And if some of those who constantly complain about the team from the Capital nominating the National Stadium as their ‘home’ venue could put their Dublin bias aside for an hour and ponder that exact scenario and the economic madness of allowing GAA Headquarters to remain idle for what would amount to about nine full months by taking Dublin out of the stadium and what the financial implications of that loss of revenue would have on clubs up and down the country they might change their now boring and monotonous tune.
Because here is the reality – if Dublin were to build their own stadium they would play a maximum of six games in Croke Park a year. Failure to qualify for the League Final, Leinster Final and All Ireland Final would reduce that to four games, that drop in revenue would have huge implications for the Association at every level.
Plus the Association according to Shanley refused to give the Dublin County Board grants in the past to build a stadium of their own as it would take away from Croke Park.
“We would have had a stadium of our own years ago if Croke Park wasn’t in our county.
“Croke Park wouldn’t give us grants to build a stadium and take away from Croke Park. That’s where we’re at.”
Dublin GAA purchased the old Spawell complex back in 2017 which consisted of 35 acres but Shanley reiterated that there will be no stadium built on the site.
“That won’t be a stadium. The plan is that will be like a centre of excellence – a cluster of pitches for clubs and development squads.”
Speaking about the motion put forward on Saturday by Donegal Sean Shanley was happy with the support Dublin got from delegates from most of the other counties and thought the motion was a foolish way to attack Dublin.
“We were delighted we got good support from most other counties,” he said. “It’s just a foolish way of attacking Dublin. I suppose that will always happen when a team has been successful.”