Laois GAA HQ O'Moore Park
Laois GAA wants Gaelic Games to be facilitated in a Masterplan for land on the Stradbally Road in Portlaoise.
Laois County Board representatives have made representations to Laois County Council in a bid to have any sports facilities that would be developed on lands formerly owned by the Tyrell family to be made available for Gaelic sports use in the town.
Mr Peter O'Neill, Laois GAA board Chairman explained that any playing facilities should be adaptable.
“Looking to the future, we want to make sure there is a full size (GAA) playing pitch,” he said.
Mr O'Neill said the hope is that the pitch would be made available for both hurling and Gaelic football but also Ladies Gaelic football and camogie.
Mr O'Neill said that Laois GAA anticipates that participation will increase in the Portlaoise area and facilities will be needed to match the expected growth.
He added that the County Board hope that it could be made available to teams from across the county.
“There is a requirement for a pitch as long as it is suitable for all codes,” he said.
Apart from increasing facilities for teams in Portlaoise, Mr O'Neill added that it would be used by county teams especially involving women.
He said the new LOETB Centre of Excellence is being used to full capacity by the GAA codes. Camogie and Ladies Gaelic Football do not have an automatic call on the facilities.
“We have three pitches and they are used every single night of the week,” he said.
The Laois GAA Chairman acknowledged that any pitch would be located on what would be a municipal facility that would be shared by many sports in the community such as soccer and rugby.
However, he added that the GAA would be able to contribute to the project. He also suggested that two pitches could be laid.
Laois County Council has retained consultants to scope out the masterplan for the 26-acre site it purchased for €1.4 million in 2019.
Read also: CROKE PARK COVID-19 UPDATE