Do We Need a New GAA Stadium?
The local media in Waterford this week reported on an idea that has been floating around for a long time, do we need a new GAA stadium?The idea has caused a massive debate between GAA supporters all across Waterford and further afield. After an interview on WLRFM’s Déise Today with presenter Eamon Keene we thought we’d ask the Waterford In Your Pocket followers what they thought of the whole idea
We asked the question on the Waterford In your Pocket Facebook page, “Should Walsh Park be relocated and a new stadium built”? Here are some of the comments and reactions that we got.
“I listened to that piece this morning on WLR FM and I tell you what, it’s people like (GAA Rep), (who spoke against moving to a new ground) are the reason this country is still in the dark ages at times, one step forward and two steps back. Didn’t answer one question with any valid argument and just waffled on endlessly about absolutely nothing!! Had no interest in progress or what’s best going forward. Just wanted to ram his archaic point of view down everyone’s throat. The dog on the street can see Walsh Park has had its day. WIT would be the Ideal location with transport infrastructure already in place, room to build badly needed parking facilities that will never be available at Walsh Park and build a proper stadium that the passionate Waterford Hurling fans deserve.
I wouldn’t be a big GAA/Hurling fan but I know the town has an unbelievable passion and following for it and deserves better than what’s there. We’re supposed to be one of the premiere hurling counties but have facilities that are not fit for purpose. To hear the absolute nonsense coming out of that mans mouth on Radio this morning was unbelievable. I was shouting at the radio. Until that generation of thinking is gone the place will never move on”!!
“As usual the problem isn’t the stadium as much as it is those who think a GAA match gives them rights. Not many park in somebody else’s driveway, on top of a roundabout or footpaths, or on grass common areas to visit the beach when there’s no parking available”.
“Sell Fraher field and Walsh Park and build a decent one at the WIT with the proceeds”.
“The pitch is a disgrace and done Waterford no favours in the league, lost both games. Won the 3 away matches. Do cattle graze on it during the week”?
“The pitch is terrible. The toilets are a total disgrace and on a wet day you can only sit in half the stand. There are small towns that have better stadiums such as Tullamore and Mullingar. We need to come out of the dark ages. I was sitting beside a family from Cashel at the Tipp league game and they were trying to come up with a ground that was worse and they couldn’t, they said most of the clubs in Tipp had better facilities”.
“Nothing worse than coming home to find some bogey has parked in my driveway on Keanes Road because a match is on or if I’m home just completely block me in”.
“Walsh Park is a disgrace no doubt about it has to go but I would keep Fraher Field it’s not a bad pitch in fairness yeah it could do with a revamp but surely Waterford County Board can see that we need a new stadium Paric Ui Chaoimh is coming in at a cost of 65 million and it was government funded we won’t get that kind of funding in Waterford because Paric Ui Chaoimh is being redeveloped with the 2020 Rugby World Cup in mind as has already been announced so how do we get funding for something that’s going to cost in the region of 60 to 80 million could some of the big company’s in Waterford not all get together and invest? Cork will now have the Paric The Marquee and a Convention Centre our local Councillors and politicians should be trying ideas out because something like this would be benefit the city and county”.
“Absolutely, the traffic congestion and upheaval to local residents is ridiculous and not just to the immediate vicinity either”.
“I said thirty years ago to buy Tycor when it went up for sale. Move or amalgamate it with Walsh Park then you would have a facility buy now”?
“See the west v city is alive and well . What other county the size of ours have two pitches. Sell both and build a stadium near Kilmacthomas. Because if they hire Carrignore we still have no stadium”.
“The killer is, that they redeveloped both Walsh park and Fraher field around the same time. Only difference is they could have really developed Father field if they had turned the pitch the other way… There would have been plenty or room to put a proper stand on both sides and terraces on both ends.. Madness”.
“Yes sell Fraher field and Walsh Park and build a new stadium in Kilmackthomas or somewhere near it beside the main cork Waterford road both pitches are done not fit for purpose, with the right planning it doesn’t have to burden the county with big debt”.
“Sell it up. & include the relics that run the county board with it (along with the divisional boards!) God knows what purpose they serve anymore!
The pitch is a joke (look at state of it vs tipp in league), no floodlighting, the facilities are like something out of the mid 90s for players and a horrific experience for fans (parking, traffic etc)”.
Whatever the outcome of the debate we understand the sentimental meaning that Walsh Park, or the sports field as it was known in Waterford City, has for so many. Funding will be needed for any kind of new GAA stadium in Waterford and we would hope that the County Board will have the foresight and vision to build a bright future for generations to come in Waterford.