Belfast Telegraph

Sports bodies back campus plans

Gaelic, rugby, soccer and hockey chiefs have signed up to plans to develop the new National Sports campus.

Sports Minister Leo Varadkar revealed the four major sporting bodies have agreed to build their own sections of the long-awaited ground.

He maintained that despite the economic climate the Government, Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the Irish Hockey Association (IHA) were committed to the scheme.

The GAA's ambitious plans include five pitches - including a replica of Croke Park for training and tournaments and an all-weather pitch.

It is understood each organisation will fork out about half a million euro - to be matched by the Government.

Meanwhile, the National Sports Campus Development Authority (NSCDA) - appointed to drive the project for the 520 acre site in Blanchardstown, west Dublin - will launch a campaign for private funding for a national indoor training arena.

"All four bodies have agreed in principle to develop their sections of the campus," said Mr Varadkar.

"For its part, the Government has allocated funding to develop the vital access route and provide serviced infrastructure this year.

"The Government has also provided a limited and equal financial incentive of matching funding for each body to commence development as soon as possible."

Work on the access road and serviced infrastructure will begin in September and will be completed by the end of the year.

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