Waterford GAA chiefs powering on with Walsh Park redevelopment plan

Plans to increase Walsh Park’s capacity to 16,000 remain on course despite neither of Waterford’s two home games in the Munster senior hurling championship this summer selling out.

In the wake of Clare and Limerick games bringing in crowds of 11,012 and 10,874 respectively, there have been doubts about the necessity of a €7 million rebuild which was given the go-ahead by An Bord Pleanála in February.

However, those attendances have not deterred the Waterford County Board from forging ahead with transforming the venue as originally envisaged, possibly in time for next year’s Munster SHC when Cork and Tipperary are due to travel to Walsh Park.

“There are no revised plans,” insisted county chairman Paddy Joe Ryan.

We had a meeting with our local minister two weeks ago, and the Walsh Park project is going ahead provided we get the desired funding from the Government, from Central Council, from Munster and from Waterford GAA.

Although no start date on the work at the Keane’s Road venue has been set, it is hoped that work could begin in September. It is expected the covered stand capacity will be 5,300, and the uncovered seating area will amount to 4,200.

Meanwhile, Páraic Fanning and his players are understood to have held a clear-the-air meeting on Tuesday ahead of tomorrow evening’s trip to face Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The Waterford manager called the gathering following a third consecutive defeat in this year’s Munster SHC last weekend, which has all but ended their summer.

It is believed to have been the latest in a number of meetings between players and management. Although there has been speculation about the future of some personnel in the camp, the Mount Sion man, who was appointed for two years, is expected to remain on for the 2020 season.

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