Cork GAA lodges High Court suit against developers of Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Cork County Board lodged papers against builders John Sisk and Son and engineering consultancy Malachy Walsh and Co
Cork GAA lodges High Court suit against developers of Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Páirc Uí Chaoimh was initially slated to be redeveloped into a 45,000-capacity stadium. Picture: Larry Cummins

Cork GAA has lodged a High Court suit against the construction firm behind the redevelopment of the county’s marquee venue, Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The county board last week lodged papers against both John Sisk and Son, the builders on the project, and Malachy Walsh and Co, the engineering consultancy which managed the redevelopment.

The Sunday Times reported that negligence had been cited as the cause of action in the proceedings, which were lodged last Tuesday.

The county board declined to comment on the action when contacted over the weekend due to the live nature of the proceedings.

Neither Sisk nor Malachy Walsh could be reached for comment.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh, GAA’s spiritual home in the county, was initially slated for a €70m redevelopment into a 45,000-capacity stadium — the third largest in Ireland after Croke Park and Semple Stadium in Thurles — in late 2015.

However, by the time the work was completed on the revamped stadium in summer 2017, costs had ballooned by over 50% to the region of €110m.

On its website, John Sisk describes the new stadium as having “transformed the immediate and surrounding environments”. It said the development had involved the laying of 200,000 concrete blocks, with 13,000 tonnes of precast concrete and 1,150 tonnes of steel comprising the ground’s roof.

The development won project of the year at the Irish Construction Excellence Awards in 2018.

Sisk itself recorded turnover of €1.5bn in 2020, just under half of which related to works carried out in Ireland.

Meanwhile, last month, the GAA received permission from An Bord Pleanála for a controversial revamp of the stadium’s facilities, after the plans had been blocked by Cork City Council.

The proposals include a new museum, visitor centre, and cafe in a redeveloped South Stand and a children’s playground at the Atlantic Pond.

The South Stand would also include enhancements for its use as a conference venue with office hub facilities and break-out spaces.

However, plans to build car parks on two parcels of publicly owned land in an area identified to be part of the new linear Marina Park amenity had proved contentious and were cited by the city council when it refused permission in September 2021.

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