Nowlan Park will host league

Nowlan Park will host the county’s Allianz HL fixtures this spring despite considerable damage to the roof of the Old Stand, Kilkenny chairman Ned Quinn confirmed.

Nowlan Park was battered by high winds on Wednesday with a quarter of the Old Stand roof ripped off. Debris was scattered along O’Loughlin road which runs at the back of the stand, forcing Gardaí to close of the road.

Quinn said the cost of the damage had yet to be quantified, but said there was no danger of Kilkenny’s home league games being moved.

Brian Cody’s men welcome Tipperary on Sunday, February 23, their first home fixture of the league.

“The roof is certainly repairable,” he claimed.

“20 to 25% of the roof was blown off.

“ We are in the process of cleaning up the debris and then we will move to surveying the cost of the damage. Were we to close off the Old Stand we would still have the capacity to house 18,000 people and that is a figure I doubt we will reach for any of our three home games.”

Rumours that the clean-up along O’Loughlin Road had been called off after the debris was found to contain asbestos were denied. PRO Seamus Reade confirmed low-levels of asbestos had been discovered, but were not harmful.

“There is absolutely no health risk to those helping with the clean-up. Low levels of asbestos are commonplace in concrete buildings,” he said.

Meanwhile, Clare PRO Sean O’Halloran quashed speculation that Cusack Park would be unable to stage Sunday’s league tie involving Clare and Kilkenny.

Minimal damage occurred during Wednesday’s storms, but O’Halloran said the ground was still capable of hosting the fixture.

“It had been rumoured the Gaelic Grounds would host the fixture but that is not true. We are ready to go here at Cusack Park. The damage was not at all serious,” he noted.

“The River Fergus does run behind one of the stands, but the water levels this week are nowhere near high enough where they would pose a threat to spectators.”


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