28 May 2022

WATCH: Laois GAA kingpins Portlaoise present vision for the future

Club hit by Celtic Tiger bouncing back with new vison

A virtual presentation of Portlaoise GAA grounds in the coming years forms a key part of the vision club members have put together for the development of its facilities for Gaelic Games the Laois town. 

Watch the tour above and read more details below

More than 15 years after the club launched major plans for its grounds at Rathleague, the club has embarked on new plans to develop its facilities its under the  brand identity “TOWN25”.

The initiative was approved by members at the club's recent AGM. It followed a consultation through 2021 which saw nearly 70% of members saying a clubhouse was the top priority for the future. A further 30% believed pitches should be prioritised.

The club says TOWN25 will be Phase 1 of that longer term plan and each phase will include development of both indoor and outdoor facilities. The club says the phased approach represents a long-term vision to deliver a fully functioning and modern facility for its members and supporters.

Phase 1 includes a new clubhouse and walking track, as well as floodlight and pitch upgrades.

Phase 2 will include new reception areas, additional indoor function areas, kitchen and meeting spaces, further pitch upgrades development and floodlight development.

The third and final phase will focus on the more ambitious and aspirational design features that were highlighted in the consultation process. In addition to finalising the pitch upgrade program.

These other features include completing the final phase of the clubhouse  - a sports hall, develop a 4g astro turf pitch for all year access.

A special fundraising initiative is also underway to support the project. 

The 2022 project is a significant revision to plans approved 2007 which were linked to the sale of the former club grounds on Fr Browne Avenue beside O'Moore Park.

That project included a two storey club with a sports hall, bar, lounge and restaurant facilities. A leisure centre with a swimming pool was also planned.

The project failed to proceed after An Bord Pleanála rejected a plan for a major retail and residential facility on the Fr Browne Avenue grounds.

Portlaoise GAA ultimately moved to Rathleague with Laois GAA taking owership of the old grounds with the help of Croke Park. The Laois GAA Centre of Excellance is now located beside O'Moore Park on the old grounds.

The new Portlaoise GAA plans mark the first significant development of facilities of Rathleague, apart from pitch laying, since then.

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