A report which could decide the future of Limerick’s famous rugby ground, Thomond Park, is not expected to be completed before Christmas.
The IRFU is awaiting details of the feasibility study before deciding on a permanent location for a state of the art 26,000 capacity rugby stadium.
A firm of consultant engineers was hired in October to examine the merits of redeveloping Thomond Park as well as the possible development of three other sites.
The report which is being carried out by ARUP was due to be completed by the start of December but a spokesman for the IRFU said yesterday that it was unlikely to be ready before Christmas.
“The ARUP report has not been finalised and will not be for some weeks yet. A lot of research and various studies need to be carried out as part of this process,” said the IRFU spokesman.
Munster rugby supporters fear the report could sound the death knell for the famous Thomond Park ground which has a capacity of just 13,000 spectators. Residents living in the shadow of Thomond Park were invited to submit in writing their own valuations on their homes as part of the feasibility study.
The householders on Knocklisheen Road, Ballynanty, had initially been offered €200,000 each by the IRFU to sell their homes to facilitate the expansion of Thomond Park. However, that offer was rejected by all the residents some of whom valued their homes at nearly three times the market value in the recent feasibility study.
Rugby fans fear that any breakdown in negotiations with residents could signal the closure of the hallowed ground where Munster famously beat the All-Blacks in 1978. It’s understood that the report carried out by consultant engineers, ARUP, has also examined the possibility of developing sites at the University of Limerick and at the former Greenpark Racecourse.