Dublin set to finalise Spawell purchase

Dublin are expected to seal a deal to purchase the southside Spawell complex to develop a 25,000 stadium by the end of the month.

The county board had previously bid for the NAMA-owned 35-acre site situated in Templeogue off the M50 adjacent to the Faughs and St Judes’ GAA clubs. However, their offer was believed to be approximately €500,000 less than the €9 million-plus price that was accepted.

The decision prompted criticism from Dublin secretary John Costello, who claimed NAMA had abdicated its duty towards community development. However, it was reported negotiations between the board and Davy Investment, who manage the complex, opened in the latter half of 2016 and an agreement is understood to be imminent.

As well as a stadium, Dublin had planned to build four full-size pitches and other facilities on the site. It may now serve as their official centre of excellence.

If the deal goes through, they will likely draw down €2 million of central GAA funding that had been ring-fenced for them for their scrapped development of a green site in Rathcoole.

Such a venture would see the Templogue/ Tallaght area become a veritable stadia belt: the National Basketball Arena is just over a kilometre away across the M50 and Tallaght Stadium, home of Shamrock Rovers, a further 3km west.

Spawell is currently a social venue which includes a bar, pitch and putt course, golf driving range, tennis and squash courts, gym, all-weather soccer pitches and several commercial premises. Plans to develop it into a hotel resort were approved in 2010 but the economic downturn put paid to them becoming realised.

Meanwhile, the GAA are today expected to announce Bord Gáis as their new associate sponsor of the All-Ireland senior hurling championship. Backers of the U21 competition since 2009, Bord Gáis will join Centra and Littlewoods, who came on board before Christmas. Along with the online fashion retailers, they replace Etihad Airways and Liberty Insurance.

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