Cork County Board chairperson Tracey Kennedy has said the Páirc Uí Chaoimh playing surface is match-ready for the clash of Cork and Tipperary on Sunday, May 12.
The Páirc Uí Chaoimh surface was inspected by British-based pitch consultants STRI on Monday, with Kennedy telling delegates at last night’s county board meeting that “it looks as if we are ready to go” for Cork’s first home game of the Munster SHC.
No game has been played at the redeveloped stadium since the league double-header on February 3 when the pitch cut up very badly following the football fixture between Cork and Kildare and the hurling meeting of Cork and Wexford.
Kennedy said the necessary remedial work has taken place over the last three months to have the pitch right for May 12.
“You will all have seen as you came in tonight how nice, green, and lush the grass is looking out there. The pitch has been checked by the professionals and we are very happy with the condition it is in,” remarked Kennedy.
“We are looking forward to hosting our games on the 12th of May. I want to put on record my thanks to everyone who was involved in getting the pitch from the condition it was in at the end of January to the condition it is now.
"I know there was a lot of work put in, too many people to mention, but Stephen Forrest and his team have done all the donkey work on it.
"We had advice from a lot of other people and I am very appreciative to them. It looks as if we are ready to go.”
Added county board CEO Kevin O’Donovan: “Given the controversy of recent months, it is vital that we put our best foot forward on May 12. Everyone is happy with the condition of the pitch so it is full steam ahead.”
Cork’s central council delegate Bob Ryan informed delegates he recently met with GAA Director General Tom Ryan and president John Horan in relation to comments made by Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna in the Irish Examiner last December when the latter said that “we’re probably close to €110 million as a final cost” for the Páirc Uí Chaoimh rebuild.
Ryan said last night this was a “non-factual” figure and outlined that further meetings are planned with Ryan and Horan “in relation to this issue being addressed and dealt with”.
Kevin O’Donovan confirmed that irrespective of when the various Cork teams finish up later in the summer, county championship action will not resume until August.
"We won’t stop any club coming a week earlier, should they wish. The players do deserve certainty and we are sticking to August.”
The draws for the second and third round of the Cork county championship will take place at the next board meeting in May.
Where the third round in the various competitions is concerned, repeat pairings, where possible, will be avoided.
Elsewhere, Ger O’Sullivan of Dromtarriffe was unveiled as the Cork junior football manager for the remainder of the year.
He will be assisted by selectors Christy Kearney (Nemo Rangers/UCC), Jim Nolan (Castlehaven), and Donal McCarthy (Valley Rovers).