Stage set for Ireland venue spruce-up


Dublin Dalymount Park Redevelopment update April 2021 Image: Bohemian FC

The Dublin City Council (Ireland) has inked a grant agreement with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (DTCAGSM) vis-à-vis the Dalymount Park Redevelopment Project. The allocation of €918,750 from the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) will part fund the design and planning elements of the development.

The ‘Dublin City Council’ stated that the Dublin City Council will now appoint an architect-led integrated design team that will begin work shortly on the preliminary design. During this process there will be consultation with all the relevant stakeholders including the professional football club from Dublin Bohemian F.C. and the Irish association football club Shelbourne F.C. and the wider North Dublin Community.

The Dublin City Council is the authority responsible for local Government in the City of Dublin in Ireland. As a City Council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. Until 2001, the Council was known as the ‘Dublin Corporation’.

The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media is a Department of the Government of Ireland. The mission of the Department is to promote and develop Ireland’s tourism, culture and art, and to advance the use of the Irish language, including the development of the Gaeltacht.

Gaeltacht is an Irish-language word for any primarily Irish-speaking region. In Ireland, the term Gaeltacht refers individually to any, or collectively to all of the districts where the Government recognizes that the Irish language is the predominant vernacular, or language of the home.

The 4,227-capacity Dalymount Park is a football stadium in Phibsborough on the Northside of Dublin, Ireland. It is the home of Bohemian F.C. who has played there since the early 20th century.

The ‘Dublin City Council’ further stated that the Dalymount Park is one of the City Council’s major capital infrastructure projects which will not only improve the sporting infrastructure of the City but will also play a major in role in the regeneration and enhancement of the public domain in Phibsborough.

Grand scheme of things:

  • A four-sided enclosed (bowl) and a 6,000-person Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Category 3 municipal stadium;
  • New North, South, East and West stands;
  • New community stand (East) – 1,000m² at the first floor level including library, flexible community space, meeting rooms, etc., plus c.1,000m² of concourse space at the ground level which could potentially be utilized for community activities and events on nonmatch days; and
  • New football stands (West) – UEFA Category 3 facilities plus club offices and meeting rooms incl. c250m² of hospitality/community space.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu while welcoming the announcement put in, “The redevelopment of this iconic stadium will provide a modern facility that will not just be of benefit to Bohemian F.C. and Shelbourne F.C. but the wider Dublin community through the provision of a state-of-the-art multifunctional facility.”

In relation to the finalization of the grant agreement, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin T.D. stated, “I am delighted that work is progressing on the Dalymount Park project. The funding being provided by my Department will allow the detailed design work to be completed and I look forward to further engagement with the Dublin City Council when the project is ready to move to the construction stage. While it is particularly significant for the soccer community, the project will benefit the entire community and play a significant part in the regeneration of the Phibsborough area.”

The Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers T.D. also welcomed the progress, “I am delighted that the proposed Dalymount redevelopment project is now moving to the next stage. I want to see continued investment in our sporting infrastructure through both the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme and the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund and will continue to make the case for enhanced investment in these programs in the coming years. The new Dalymount Stadium will be a significant boost for the League of Ireland and I wish the Dublin City Council, Shelbourne F.C. and Bohemian F.C. every success with the project”.

Shelbourne F.C. welcomed the announcement as co-anchor tenants in this project with Bohemian F.C., and stated that it look forward to working closely with them and the Dublin City Council to achieving the common shared vision of providing both team’s supporters with the most modern facilities available and an arena that will enable them to grow further as clubs.

Joe Casey, Director, Shelbourne F.C., commented, “Shelbourne F.C. would like to put on record our gratitude to the team at Dublin City Council who are working tirelessly to put this project in motion and who are ready and willing to help at a moment’s notice and to the public representatives on all sides who continue to offer their support throughout the process. We will of course continue to keep our supporters informed of ongoing progress and would welcome any input they may have.”

Daniel Lambert, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Bohemian F.C. commented, “Bohemian F.C. welcomes the above announcement which now brings us to the penultimate, and one of the most exciting stages of this process, the full redevelopment of Dalymount Park which began with the members of Bohemians voting to transfer ownership to the Dublin City Council in 2015. We look forward to engaging, alongside Shelbourne F.C. and the wider community, with the design team, to realise and deliver a world class stadium in the heart of Dublin City.”

Added Lambert, “A stadium that allows our respective clubs, and the local community to grow and prosper, and that reflects and enhances the huge tradition of the ‘Home of Irish Football’. We would now call upon the full support of Government, through the LSSIF, over the coming year to see this project to completion. Ultimately delivering a key piece of publicly-owned infrastructure for the people of Dublin, for the enjoyment and promotion of sporting, cultural and community activities.”

Total redevelopment

In preparation for the total redevelopment, a number of enabling works will take place over the next 12 months including the:

  • Removal of the Des Kelly Stand Roof; and
  • Demolition of the Connaught St Terrace by way of a Part 8 Planning Permission.

The current timeline for completion of the rehabilitated stadium is the commencement of the 2025 season but this is very much dependent on further funding available for the construction stage from the national Government via stream 2 of LSSIF and the City Councilors supporting the rezoning and sale of the 3,600-capacity Tolka Park – digs of Shelbourne F.C.

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