Full Páirc Uí Chaoimh cost won’t be known for months

The cost of redeveloping Páirc Uí Chaoimh will not be known for a number of months, stadium board member Michael O’Flynn has confirmed.

The construction bill for the redevelopment project currently stands at €90.1m, this figure rising to an estimated final cost of €95.8m as O’Flynn and fellow stadium board member Tom Gray, when examining the relevant audited accounts, had “to provide for some of the variables that will come out [in time]”.

O’Flynn is confident these outstanding issues will be resolved within “the next three months”, but did warn one particular item “could take much longer”.

Arbitration with a contractor is one of the issues still to be settled, GAA director general Tom Ryan revealed in late January.

What should emerge much sooner are the Páirc Uí Chaoimh company accounts, which delegates have been requesting in recent months.

Since the stadium reopened its doors in July of 2017, no accounts have been presented to Cork County Board detailing the monies taken in from the sale of Páirc Uí Chaoimh premium tickets and the staging of three Ed Sheeran concerts in May last year, as well as the stadium’s day-to-day operating costs.

Cork GAA chairwoman Tracey Kennedy was told at a meeting of the stadium board on Monday that the accounts would be furnished to delegates within the next month, but Kennedy and Michael O’Flynn both agree this is an “optimistic” timeframe.

Freemount delegate John O’Flynn, when querying the availability of these accounts at a board meeting towards the end of last year, was informed it would be late February before they were available. This date has now been pushed back by at least a month.

Elsewhere, Cork GAA have announced a new financial planning and advisory sub-committee which will assist the board in increasing its revenue streams.

County board treasurer Diarmuid Gowen will chair the committee which includes county board secretary Kevin O’Donovan, John O’Flynn (Cáirde Chorcaí representative), Jim Woulfe (Dairygold CEO), Kieran Calnan (former CEO of SWS Ltd and current chair of Bórd Iascaigh Mhara), and Brendan Keane (director of Keaneye solutions Ltd, former EMEA operations director FMC).

Meanwhile, Kennedy has said a new Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch, to be laid this summer, is unlikely to be 100% natural grass. “We are probably looking at some type of hybrid/supported structure, where, in the event of poor grass growth, you would still have a safe surface where there would be proper traction.

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