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Dundalk FC CEO to investigate possibility of club using new Louth GAA stadium

Dundalk FC CEO to investigate possibility of club using new Louth GAA stadium
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Dundalk FC CEO Mark Devlin is set to investigate the possibility of whether or not the Oriel Park side can play future games at the new Louth GAA stadium planned for the outskirts of the town.

Louth GAA have submitted a planning application with a view to building a 14,000 seater stadium on the Inner Relief Road, and Devlin has hinted that the development could also have a role to play in Dundalk’s need to enhance their facilities.

Oriel Park is frequently criticised for its run down nature and is unable to host European matches beyond the opening two rounds of qualifying for the Champions League. This has led to Dundalk player several games in Tallaght in recent years, including their most recent European game against Slovan Bratislava in August.

Former Brentford CEO Devlin used his programme notes ahead of the league game with Shamrock Rovers last night to argue that it provided an opportunity for the two codes to work together.

“As someone who doesn’t have the historic baggage of any disputes between sports, I would hope that any new stadium in the town would be for the benefit of all our community and all sports played in the county,” said Devlin.

“There may be reasons why it wouldn’t work but I believe that we owe it to the public to explore all possibilities. It is definitely something I will be looking to discuss and understand what may be achievable.”

Devlin also said developments off the field at Oriel Park would be a “long haul”.

He said: “Off field, it is going to be a long haul. In the short term, we have sought advice on how we can best cover the open seated and terrace areas inside the stadium and provide additional toilets and refreshment facilities.

“I am still keen to investigate if it would be possible to install a seated stand at the Town End and how we can utilise the YDC on match nights to provide many more facilities for families and kids. However, we need to be sure that we can move our average attendances from their current levels of 2,500-3,000 to 5,000 plus.”