Work on Pairc Tailteann to start next May
Construction work on the €45 million redevelopment of Pairc Tailteann in Navan will create the equivalent of 244 full time jobs between 2019 and 2025, a meeting of Navan Municipal District heard last week.
The redevelopment, which will start next May, will completely transform the facility, increasing capacity from 11,000 to a 22,000 all seater stadium capable of hosting big games as well as concerts and other such entertainment events.
Councillors were told the economic impact of the project on the town would be significant and would lead to up to four additional inter county matches a year being played in Navan.
Members heard recent matches involving Laois, Fermanagh and Kildare brought a huge boost to business and created a carnival atmosphere in the town
Councillors heard a presentation from Council Meath GAA County Board members Seamus Kenny and Pat McCloughan in which they outlined progress on the project, the benefits to the region and how the project would be funded.
They also moved to quell residents' fears regarding traffic management around the grounds during big matches.
Cllr Edward Fennessy welcomed the cultural, social and economic boon the project would bring to the local economy, but raised the concerns of many residents living adjacent to Páirc Tailteann.
"Residents want reassurances that a comprehensive traffic management plan will be put in place to deal with the massive increase in car parking spaces the project will demand."
He was informed that a plan had been agreed between the GAA and the local Superintendent.
"This will be co-ordinated on a zoned basis, depending on projected attendances at particular events and that car parks will be used to accommodate traffic and keep estates and footpaths free from obstruction," he was told.
"As a local public representative and someone who was raised in the shadow of Páirc Tailteann, I would like to thank the GAA for their co-operation on this matter and I look forward to availing of this great amenity when it has been completed," he said.
Cllr Tommy Reilly said it was a great project and was very badly needed.
"It will be fantastic for business in the town and will be a massive benefit for the county and the region".
He was critical however of GAA headquarters for only providing 25per cent of the cost of the project. "It should be more like 75per cent" her said.
Cllr Reilly also had doubts about the feasibility of proposals to include shop units underneath the stands and was told office space would also be looked at.
Cllr Padraig Fitzsimons said the "benefits to the surrounding area will be fantastic."
"However, I have concerns that the government wont come on board to help. We are the lowest funded county in the country," he said.
Cllr Francis Deane said the project was a great way of attracting people to the town, but said traffic management was very important.
The meeting heard that the redevelopment would take place on a phased basis between 2019 and 2025 meaning the facility would be in use during the construction period, generating revenue and contributing to costs.