Doonan Helps Turn Sod on New National Indoor Arena

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, today announced the commencement of development of Phase Two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena which will provide permanent indoor facilities for Ireland’s leading field sports.

An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, was present today as the sod was turned on the new arena and he was joined by Minister Shane Ross and Cavan Intercounty star, Aisling Doonan.

The total cost of construction of the Phase Two element of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena contract will cost approximately €24m and will add to first phase of the contract which was opened earlier this year.  Completion of Phase 2 of the contract for the development of the National Indoor Arena will be a landmark moment for Irish sport.

Minister Ross said: “I am delighted to announce the commencement of the next and final phase of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena. Since Phase One opened earlier this year, the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena has had an extremely positive impact on sport in Ireland with a number of events of national and international significance having already taken place. Ireland has a strong international track record in rugby and soccer, while the GAA continues to provide opportunities to so many around the country. The addition of these indoor facilities to our sporting infrastructure will greatly benefit all three sports from grassroots right up to high performance level. I look forward to the commencement of work in the coming weeks.”

Phase Two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena will comprise covered synthetic pitch facilities, primarily designed for rugby, soccer and Gaelic games. This phase of the project will include the construction of: indoor pitch for soccer & Gaelic games, which can accommodate a number of sports; ½ sized indoor rugby pitch; and ancillary facilities including changing & player rooms, offices and meeting rooms.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, added: “Since the opening of Phase One of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena earlier this year, the venue has seen significant footfall with the facilities benefiting many from elite athletes right down to grassroots clubs. The commencement of Phase Two is a significant development for the Irish sporting landscape with the world-class facilities set to further benefit our elite athletes and teams, as well as providing more opportunities for people of all levels to engage in sport.”

The location of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena has been designed to allow easy access to the rugby, Gaelic games and soccer facilities within the National Sports Campus Master Plan – the existing FAI National Training Centre and GAA National Games Development Centre, and the proposed IRFU pitch facilities.

Speaking about the commencement of Phase Two, Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, said: “On behalf of Sport Ireland I welcome the commencement of the development of Phase Two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena. The Arena has long been seen as one of the key missing pieces of the Irish sporting infrastructure, and while the development of Phase One has already had a hugely positive impact, the construction of Phase Two will cement the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus as Ireland’s foremost sporting hub.”

The covered facility will allow Ireland’s top athletes in the relevant codes to train all year round, regardless of weather conditions, in preparation for competitive fixtures and international tournaments. At the same time the facility will provide a consistent environment for the provision of improved referee and coach development and training.

Mr Mulvey continued: “The development of Phase Two means that Ireland’s three leading field sports will have access to extensive indoor and outdoor facilities along with the world-class facilities of the Sport Ireland Institute in one location, delivering a significant improvement on training facilities elsewhere. I look forward to the completion of Phase Two in 2019 as Irish sport moves onto an exciting new chapter.”

Construction of Phase Two is expected to take two years to complete.

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