Field Sports Welcome Commencement of Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena Phase Two

Ireland’s three leading field sports today welcomed the announcement by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, that work on the completion of Phase Two of the contract for the development of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena will get underway shortly.

Making the announcement yesterday, 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.”

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.”

Phase Two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena will include covered synthetic pitch facilities primarily designed for rugby, soccer and Gaelic games, and capable of accommodating a number of sports. The build will also include ancillary facilities including changing & player rooms, offices and meeting rooms.

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.

Páraic Duffy, the GAA’s Ard Stiúrthóir, commented: “The first class GAA facilities located at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus have been a wonderful addition to the opportunities to grow and develop Gaelic games. Since opening last year, our National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown has been a hive of activity at club, school and county level.

“The GAA warmly welcomes the news about the commencement of Phase Two of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena and the exciting development that will feature the construction of an indoor synthetic pitch capable of accommodating Gaelic games.”

CEO of the FAI John Delaney added: “I welcome the announcement by Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, around the commencement of the next phase of the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena, which will include an indoor pitch for football.

“The National Indoor Arena is a terrific sporting hub and with the development of a pitch it will facilitate with the preparation of our elite football players and will give access for the participation of grassroots players in a world class facility.

“This announcement demonstrates the ongoing partnership and positive working relationship between the FAI, Sport Ireland and Government."

Philip Browne, IRFU Chief Executive, said: “The announcement of the commencement of Phase Two of the National Indoor Arena project is of huge significance to our games.  It is recognised that year-on-year teams competing against the best in the world must improve performance, and this project will allow all those who work at developing Ireland’s top athletes to come together in a centre of excellence, which can foster shared learning and development of Ireland’s elite athletes across all codes.

“It will be a significant leap forward for rugby, as, for the first time in our history we will have a central training base for all of our teams, who will benefit from world-class facilities.  We know from experience that improvements and investment off the pitch result in improvements and performance on the pitch and we congratulate and thank Minister Ross, the government and Sport Ireland for their support.”

Welcoming the development Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, said: “The completion of the Sport Ireland National Arena is a welcome development for sport in Ireland. The Arena is co-located with the Sport Ireland Institute and outdoor training facilities meaning the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus will be a one-stop-shop for our international athletes and elite teams, as well as providing opportunities for grassroots clubs and the local community. I would like to thank Minister Ross and the officials of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for their support for this project which will no doubt have a measurable impact on Irish sport.”