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Dalymount Park Plans Move to Next Stage

LOCAL soccer fans and residents from Phibsboro, Cabra and surrounding areas attended information meetings at Dalymount Park  last week to hear the latest developments on plans for the new Northside stadium.

The well-attended meetings hosted by Bohemian FC were organised to keep local communities updated on progress on the new stadium that will deliver top class facilities to the area.

Dublin City Council has already invested significant funds on preparations for the stadium that will be home for both Bohs and Shelbourne.

Plans have yet to be drawn up but a detailed appraisal of options has been drawn up by Wrenbridge Sport Ltd and a tender process for the preferred option is expected to be launched by Dublin City Council shortly.

Contracts could be signed by March 2019, after which detailed plans can be drawn up and put through the planning process.

It’s expected that construction will start early in 2021 and the stadium should be ready for the start of the 2023 soccer season.

The preferred option will see a 6,000 seat UEFA Category 3 stadium with a hybrid surface of natural grass infused with artificial fibres. A safe standing section is also being considered.

The stadium will also be a community hub for the area with facilities including a library, flexible community space and meeting rooms easily accessible from an open plaza that will essentially be a village centre for Phibsboro.

Plans for the new stadium came about after Bohs sold Dalymount to Dublin City Council in November 2015 – a move that effectively cleared the club’s debts and saved it from bankruptcy.

Bohemian FC Director, Daniel Lambert, paid tribute to those who have supported the club in moving from near collapse to a sustainable community model.

“Bohemians was, and remains thankful and grateful to John Delaney and his officials at the FAI, DCC, local current and past TDs and councillors, local residents’ groups, and the huge support of our members,” he said.

“Since 2015 we have been part of a new process, which has made steady progress on realising the full redevelopment of Dalymount Park.

“This has included participation in a steering group with representatives of all the major stakeholders, meetings with local residents’ groups, and consultations with Wrenbridge Sport.

“The culmination of this stage of the process has been the feasibility report by Wrenbridge Sport, which was commissioned by DCC.

“The report identifies option 3A as it’s preferred choice, which the Bohemian Football club is in agreement with and welcomes as it meets all of our key requirements in terms of capacity, facilities, architectural design and also the need to provide community gain to Dublin 7 and beyond. It will receive the full support and backing of the club.”

Shelbourne FC Chairman Joe Casey also gave his club’s backing and support to the plans.

“As joint tenants in this exciting project we are delighted to see the progress being made and look forward very much to playing our football in a modern purpose-built stadium which will provide facilities of the highest order for both our supporters and our players,” he said.

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney says he hopes the news will come as a boost to the local area.

“This project has been in the pipeline for a long time, and we are delighted to be working with DCC to give north Dublin a stadium worthy of the area,” he added.

“The fact that Bohemian FC and Shelbourne will be the anchor tenants of the stadium will add to the storied history of Dalymount Park.

“Phibsboro has hosted some historic matches through the decades, and I’m delighted we will see plenty more matches there for decades to come.”

The full feasibility report by Wrenbridge is due to be published publically shortly.

It’s expected that funding for the project will be sourced from two Central Government funding sources – the Urban Regeneration Fund (URF) and the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund.