GAA president John Horan has revealed that the final cost of Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s redevelopment is highly unlikely to run to €110m, a figure initially put forward by Peter McKenna last month.
McKenna stated in mid-December that it had become clear the amount spent on the Cork stadium ‘way exceeded what people thought’ and that the end figure would be ‘probably close to €110m’.
This was followed by a reassurance from Cork GAA chair Tracey Kennedy that the initial estimate of €86m remained in place.
Horan, who chaired a meeting of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh board of directors days after McKenna’s suggestion of a €24m overrun, said that they would be ‘very unlucky’ if the build figure actually reached €110m.
He declined to discuss a likely end cost, stating that Michael O’Flynn and Tom Gray, both board directors, are in the process of examining and clarifying all costs relating to the stadium’s redevelopment.
But speaking at the launch of the Allianz Hurling League, Horan said he’s optimistic that the final bill will come in ‘somewhat’ less than McKenna’s worrying €110m.
“No, the 110 figure I think we’ll be able to row back off that, somewhat,” said Horan. “I think if everything was to go wrong for us, it would head up in that direction.
But we would be very unlucky for it to reach that figure. There are issues to be resolved and when we resolve them, we will be able to firm it up. But there is no point in getting involved in speculation. There has been two sets of figures put out there and the two lads are looking at it to see can they bring clarity for the board.
Following the December 17 meeting of the Páirc Uí Chaoimh board of directors, a statement was released in which both Horan and Kennedy painted a positive picture
and spoke of their optimism for the future
“It is fantastic for us to be able to call on the experience and expertise of Croke Park to work with us in the operation of our stadium, and I know this will be a huge positive for Páirc Uí Chaoimh,” said Kennedy, who assured clubs in a separate RTÉ interview that “there is no way that there will be any excess costs on them as a result of the building of the stadium.
"They know this already. There are no levies planned for clubs, there is no negative impact on the day-to-day running of Cork county board or on teams and we look forward to the future revenue-generating potential of this fantastic stadium”.
Horan declined to discuss the reason for the disparity between the stadium costs put forward by both McKenna and Kennedy last month.
“Well, I am not going to speculate on the two figures,” he said. “I went in as chairman of the board of Páirc Uí Chaoimh in November. I am getting my head around all that’s going on. We’ve asked two individuals, Tom Gray and Michael O’Flynn, to look at it.
“There are a few areas in the Páirc Uí Chaoimh thing that are variable at the moment. We have to wait until those variables are firmed out but it would be a bit quick for me to make further comment, other than that, the lads are looking at the actual information that both sides have and hopefully, they will come out with a figure.
“But even when they do come out with a figure, I still think there will be variables there that we have to resolve.”
McKenna stated last month that if it hadn’t been for the intervention of central GAA officials at Croke Park, things may have got significantly out of hand.
“I think if it wasn’t an aligned set-up, you’d be talking about a receivership or something like that,” said McKenna. “The ability to pay that amount of money back wasn’t there, but that’s not how we operate as an organisation.”