NEGOTIATIONS are at an advanced stage over major development work adjacent to Cusack Park in Ennis that involves the Clare County Board, Ennis Town Council and a local property owner in a land deal that could help secure the future of the Clare GAA playing headquarters as a top-flight inter-county ground.
The Clare People can reveal that the land deal, provided it passes all the criteria set by the Ennis Town Council planning authorities, would see Clare GAA develop a major carpark in conjunction with the town authorities that would provide a revenue stream for both parties.
The land, which the Clare GAA have agreed to buy from a local property owner, is at the back of the Cloister Bar and Restaurant – a bank of ground that’s seen as crucial to the county board’s plans to ensure that Cusack Park has a capacity large enough to host top-flight inter-county games.
“This is good business for Clare GAA and Ennis Town Council and the property owner who will sell the land,” a county board source told The Clare People this week.
“There is a problem with parking in Ennis for the council, while Clare GAA have a problem with access to Cusack Park. This would solve both those problems. Clare GAA would have the revenues from the carpark on match days, while Ennis Town Council would have the revenues on other days,” the board source continued.
It’s understood that Horgan Lynch Architects from Cork, who have acted as consultants to Clare GAA on improvements and redevelopment works at Cusack Park, are currently formulating a traffic management plan on the project that will be forwarded to Ennis Town Engineer, Eamonn O’Dea.
The Clare People has learned that the plan is to develop a carpark capable of catering for 160 cars, while at the same time opening up a new entrance to Cusack Park – something that’s seen a key to ensuring that the seat of Clare GAA meets the new stringent health and safety requirements for stadia set by the Croke Park authorities.
Last year, as Cusack Park celebrated 75 years in existance, a health and safety audit carried out nationwide by Michael Slattery & Associates saw the capacity of the ground reduced to 14,864. Over the past three years, Clare GAA has invested over €500,000 in the refurbishment of Cusack Park through drainage works, replacing pitch perimeter fencing and erecting a new Northern Stand.
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