'Overly ambitious' projections behind 'significant' cost overrun on Páirc Uí Chaoimh

'Overly ambitious' projections behind 'significant' cost overrun on Páirc Uí Chaoimh

The original financial projections made by the Cork County Board for the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh were “overly ambitious”, GAA director general Tom Ryan believes.

In his annual report launched today, Ryan countered Cork chairperson Tracey Kennedy’s claim made at last month’s annual county convention that the cost of redeveloping still stood at around €86 million and stated the costs will be much larger. GAA stadium director Peter McKenna told the Irish Examiner the final bill will €110m.

“The cost of the stadium will prove to be significantly more than envisaged,” Ryan wrote. “There were a number of factors at play here, including variations in specification and complications encountered during construction.

“Projects of this scale are notoriously difficult to deliver. With hindsight it could also be argued that the financial projections were overly ambitious.

'Overly ambitious' projections behind 'significant' cost overrun on Páirc Uí Chaoimh

“The intention was to complete the stadium without debt, and this would have made Páirc Uí Chaoimh unique among GAA stadiums. In retrospect the projections proved too light and that objective proved impossible.

“The eventual cost remains to be determined - only because one or two high-value elements are the subject of ongoing negotiation. The numbers aired will prove to be at the outer limits of the cost, however there will be a significant debt to be discharged over the coming years. This will not, however, impact upon other counties or on funding for projects elsewhere.”

Ryan continued: “Short-term funding and management expertise has been secured from Croke Park Stadium, and plans are well advanced to see the ground operated successfully in 2019 and beyond.”

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