Cork City Council has voted in favour of proposals to make 6.82 acres of land next to Páirc Uí Chaoimh available for the redevelopment of the stadium and the construction of a Centre of Excellence.
Councillors backed the proposal by 17-11 which will see a major overhaul of facilities at the stadium, which was opened in 1976.
“We’re absolutely delighted and I think this is a landmark day for GAA in the county. I’m delighted for sports people in the entire county and for the GAA people. But this is only the very first step and the real hard work starts now. We’ll be negotiating with the City Council now to do a deal for the cost of the land,” said Cork County Board Chairman Jerry O’Sullivan.
"Then the planning phase will take place and certainly I’d hope to have Phase 1 completed within a two-year term."
The green light for the project came after city manager, Joe Gavin, last week declared his opposition to the granting of 6.82 acres as there were plans in place to build a public park in the area.
However, O’Sullivan said the Páirc Uí Chaoimh project, when finished, will augment the Council’s plans to build a public park nearby.
The stadium is expected to have an increased capacity of 60,000 when completed.
Speaking last week, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthcleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana stressed the importance of Cork GAA's plans and said the Association would support the redevelopment of the stadium.
“It’s absolutely crucial," said the Uachtarán. "It’s about the development of not just an all-weather pitch. It’s about the development of a Centre of Excellence, including the stadium, the proper spectator facilities, proper dressing room facilities, which we all know are badly needed in Cork, and also a floodlit pitch which would be an advantage not just to Cork teams but to schools and to Clubs and the underage structure to maximise the development of the game in Cork.”
“As an Association we will be supportive of the redevelopment of Páirc Uí Chaoimh because it needs to be done.”