3.8m euro deal for Dalymount Park
The future of the iconic Dalymount Park has been secured in a 3.8 million euro deal with council chiefs.
The Bohemians' stadium in north Dublin, which has hosted football matches for more than 100 years, will be redeveloped while the club will be able to use the money to pay off debts.
Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, said the deal will make sure Dalymount is a great asset for the local community.
"Dalymount Park has a special place in the affections of Irish football fans and the stadium has witnessed many wonderful footballing occasions over the years," he said.
The plans were outlined in a letter to Dublin City councillors that states the ground will still be Bohs' home while the stadium will be used as a sports centre for local schools, community groups and clubs with the emphasis on soccer.
The club has been in existence since 1890 and used Dalymount in Phibsborough since 1901, a ground which also hosted international matches for 66 years up until 1990.
The council said the deal helps secure the future of a stadium "that has been graced by the best footballers of their time, if not ever, and that the vast majority of football supporters have attended at some stage".
A full redevelopment plan will be drawn up with the support of the Football Association of Ireland and Bohs, and Government funding will also be sought to cover the costs of work on the stadium and pitch.
Local schools, junior soccer clubs and Dublin Institute of Technology will be asked for their input on the redevelopment.
Mr Donohoe praised Dublin City Council (DCC) chiefs for their work in securing the stadium.
"It goes without saying that DCC deserves great credit for its proactive approach in this matter," he said.
"This model of ownership and operation of a stadium by a local authority follows the example set by South Dublin County Council in relation to Tallaght Stadium.
"Obviously a redeveloped stadium will be a boost for Bohemians in particular, and the League of Ireland in general, but it can be expected that such a redevelopment will bring about wider economic benefits for the local area."
In his letter to councillors, Brendan Kenny, DCC deputy chief executive, said the stadium could be used for the local community, schools and soccer clubs, while officials are looking at a possible soccer museum at the site.
He also suggested some private development may fit in the deal.
The council's original plan for Dalymount included a groundshare involving Shelbourne Rovers and that club giving up its lease at Tolka Park but a deal on that front could not be reached.