GAA Football

Antrim chief Ciaran McCavana: Corrigan Park renovation plan edges closer

Ciaran McCavana says Corrigan Park will get an upgrade

AN Antrim delegation will meet Croke Park chiefs on Monday evening to finalise the renovation plan for Corrigan Park.

Antrim chairman Ciaran McCavana and county secretary Frankie Quinn will lead the delegation that have asked GAA for £1.5m to give the west Belfast ground a facelift, especially with the Casement Park rebuild still waiting to turn the first sod.

Former chairman Collie Donnelly and vice-chairman Terry Reilly first lobbied Croke Park for the need to create Antrim’s version of a Parnell Park in Ireland’s second city.

Plans to upgrade Corrigan Park on the Whiterock Road are at advanced stage. The new-look venue will have a 668-seated stand on one side of the pitch and a 2,000-capacity covered terraced stand on the opposite side.

Since the closure of Casement Park in 2013, Antrim’s senior footballers have been unable to host an Ulster Championship match with Corrigan Park, Dunloy, Glenavy and Cushendall among the grounds used by the various county teams over the past six seasons.

Speaking at yesterday’s Saffron Business Forum, chairman Ciaran McCavana said: “We will meet with Croke Park on Monday night to get work started on Corrigan Park as soon as possible.”

The Naomh Enna clubman also confirmed the GAA-backed ‘Gaelfast’ project – designed to increase participation rates among primary school children in Belfast - was being rolled out across the county and that the Dunsilly Centre of Excellence was ready for phase two and has been costed at £800,000 to £1m.

Since its creation three years ago, the Saffron Business Forum has raised over £350,000 for Gaelic Games in Antrim.

Tyrone great Peter Canavan was guest speaker, while Kieran Donaghy was also in attendance. Local band Runabay and Irish dancers entertained the 500-strong audience at Belfast’s Crowne Plaza Hotel yesterday afternoon.

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