While Cork will seek to change the terms of some home-and-away arrangements while Páirc Uí Chaoimh is being rebuilt, Páirc Uí Rinn is likely to host senior inter-county championship games for the first time.
Demolition work on Páirc Uí Chaoimh will begin in February and it is hoped that the ground will reopen in early 2017. In the interim, Páirc Uí Rinn will effectively become the county ground, hosting all county finals.
County secretary Frank Murphy expects that most football home ties, except those against Kerry, will be accommodated at Páirc Uí Rinn. The county may end up playing two away games in a row against some counties, with two consecutive home games then once the new facility is opened.
“That would be our objective, to negotiate with the counties we have arrangements with, Tipperary and Limerick in hurling and Kerry in football,” Murphy said in an interview in the 2015 Cork GAA Yearbook.
“In the main, the other counties in football, I think that, unless it was a Munster final we’d be able to accommodate them in Páirc Uí Rinn. It has a capacity of 16,500 and it will be more than comfortable, even for county senior finals.”
Murphy also revealed the possibility of moving operations away from the Marina area of the city was explored when it looked as if permission to redevelop wasn’t granted.
“At certain critical points, we had to give serious thought to not doing the development here if we didn’t get the type of scope that we needed,” he said.
“We had considerable protracted deliberations and discussions with City Council before we acquired the land. The city was doing its own development here with Marina Park and they had their own consultants who were designing that, we had to get agreement on how the projects would marry and how the interface would look.
“Undoubtedly, the tradition is here, going back into the 19th century. It was important that, if we could at all get the right balance, that we would do the development here.”
Almost all of the redeveloped stadium will be new, with uncomfortable seating arrangements — as pertained in the current stadium — a thing of the past.
“At the moment, the uncovered stand holds 10,500,” Murphy said. “All of the steps will be wiped out, we will be providing wider stepping with more comfort and 8,000 will be the capacity. We’re using the steelwork of the current covered stand roof for the uncovered stand, though not the cladding. When the uncovered stand, there was provision made structurally for it to be covered at some future date and now is the time to do that.
“The terraces will be completely revamped. In the case of the city terrace, the front one-third will be movable, if there was a concert and part of the stage was to be put in, we would move the terrace out.”
The 2015 Cork GAA Yearbook is now on sale, priced €8. It is available from Liam Ruiséal bookshop on Oliver Plunkett St and through clubs but supplies are limited.
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