Tyrone county chairperson Roisín Jordan last night revealed her bold vision for a major new GAA stadium in the county. She told delegates at annual convention in Garvaghey the county should aspire to having its own ultra-modern facility.
Healy Park, where the Red Hands play their home games, is owned by Omagh St Enda’s, who have enjoyed a smooth-running partnership with the county board for many years.
“I believe Tyrone GAA should be looking to the future and their aspirations should be to building their own stadium,” said Jordan, who was returned for a third term.
“It would take a number of years for this to be completed but I believe a debate sooner rather than later should take place. It will not happen overnight and just to give you a time-frame, in September 2017 the New Cusack Stand will have been opened 22 years, with the fourth phase opened in 2005 by the then President Sean Kelly.
“This will give you an idea how quickly 20 years can pass. This will not happen straight away but it will happen.”
She did not suggest a location for the project, but cited Tyrone’s geographical location in the heart of Ulster as a major strategic asset.
“A Tyrone stadium could be self-funding and also provide us with a possible income after expenses. Tyrone is the most central placed county in Ulster and one of the most progressive, and a stadium built near a main arterial route would be ideal.
Jordan, the GAA’s only female county chairperson, also said Tyrone should be pro-active in responding to Sport Minister Patrick O’Donovan’s announcement sports organisations will face funding cuts if they do not comply with a gender quota which requires 30% of board members to be women by 2019.
“If it affects Croke Park it will have a knock-on effect. For Tyrone to meet this quota we would need to elect another female,” she said.
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