County board delegates were informed on Tuesday the most cost-effective way of addressing the subsidence issues at the venue was to knock down the existing stand.
A new 3,000 capacity stand will likely cost around €3m in what is sure to stretch Longford’s coffers to the limit. Assistance from the Leinster Council and Croke Park will likely be required to provide the necessary funding to start from scratch. The problems in the stand areas became obvious when gaps formed between seats in June of last year. Collins Boyd Engineers & Architects were then charged by the county board executive to investigate the situation. It was explained to delegates that there were problems with the foundations.
It had been hoped back in March that it would cost €300,000 to make the stand safe. County Board secretary Peter O’Reilly added this week: “There was also the option of underpinning the stand and trying to get it pile-driven underneath to support the structure that is there but the most cost effective option is to demolishand rebuild.”
Approximately 600 seats were cordoned off earlier this year as a precautionary measure before the entire stand area was sealed off and declared out of bounds. Longford couldn’t play Kildare in their third round qualifier at Pearse Park this year, despite having gained home advantage in the draw.
As things stand, the capacity of Pearse Park is approx 4,500, all terrace. The board hope they will still be able to stage Division 3 games next spring.
Meanwhile, former Longford manager Denis Connerton is the early favourite to succeed Jack Sheedy and return to the post he filled between 2004 and 2007. Ex-Westmeath selector Philip Kiernan is also in the running