In 2018 the Cork economy benefited financially by € 60m with the three Ed Sheeran concerts that took place in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
This was an incredible boost to our local economy in terms of employment and increasing profits for local businesses. It has also contributed in making Cork a more attractive place in terms of domestic tourism.
What’s more, there is a potential we could see similar financial gains for our county with future concerts and when added to annual events like Championship games, the financial benefits of the new stadium will prove very lucrative.
Cork GAA made a very wise and fruitful decision in redeveloping Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The final figure for the redevelopment is estimated at € 95.8m, which in its own right is a massive investment in Cork. It created over 400 jobs during construction.
It is on this issue alone that the Cork County Delegate to the GAA Central Council, Bob Ryan, was right to challenge Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna on his wild accusations that the overspend on Páirc Uí Chaoimh might be as high as € 110m.
This was mere speculation and scaremongering, and one must ask is the negativity of Croke Park an attempt at a land-grab on the redeveloped Páirc Uí Chaoimh?
At present there is a massive disproportionate distribution of funds generated by Croke Park.
In Coaching and Game development grants (as of Feb 2018) it has been reported in the media that Dublin had received over € 15m more than any other county in Ireland in the last decade.
The reports show Dublin receiving over €16m for coaching and games development, while Cork received just over only €1,1m in the same time period.
Instead of Croke Park attempting to speak down on the great work being done by the GAA in Cork, it should be looking at giving greater financial assistance, or better put, to more evenly distribute the revenues of the GAA instead of hoarding it all in Dublin.
The GAA should also look at holding the International Rules series held between Ireland and Australia in Cork, as a means of helping to boost income into the stadium, and to ensure that the GAA grows equally on a nationwide basis.
Maybe its time for a new GAA president from Cork!