O'Moore Park centre of excellence plans

Planning Laois GAA lodges application for centre in Portlaoise

O'Moore Park centre of excellence plans
by Ryan Dunne ryan@leinsterexpress.ie @laoisnews

Laois GAA has advanced its plans for a multi-million euro centre of excellence in Portlaoise, with the lodging of a planning application to Laois County Council for the centre beside O'Moore Park.

In an application made in recent weeks, Laois GAA County Board outlined plans to construct a building at the grounds that will be part single and part two storey.

At ground level will be four changing rooms, a gym, a referee and physio/medical room, sanitary accommodation, internal circulation, an entrance foyer, reception office, storage room, and a kitchen and canteen. The plans for the first floor include meeting rooms and offices.

Also proposed is a new internal road with car and bus parking, pedestrian footpaths, new turnstiles and vehicular and wheelchair access gates.

The works will include the completion of the three new playing pitches previously granted by the council.

Road access to the centre will be via Fr Browne Avenue.

The journey to develop a centre of excellence has not been smooth for Laois GAA, with past plans to build a centre in Dooary, Ballyroan abandoned due to costs.

The land at Dooary, originally purchased somewhere in the region of €800,000 back in 2008, was subsequently sold at auction in April 2015 for €385,000, a loss of over €400,000 to Laois GAA.

The land beside O’Moore Park was owned by Portlaoise GAA, who had major development plans for the land involving sale to a developer.

However, An Bord Pleanala refused these plans due to issues including access from the Abbeyleix Road and land zoning.

When Portlaoise GAA’s old grounds then became available, the land was secured by Croke Park and the Leinster Council.

A decision on the new planning application is due from Laois County Council by June 19.