Limerick County Board have filed an application to Limerick City Council for planning permission to hold concerts in Pairc nGael on the Ennis Road.
The application, filed last Friday on behalf of Limerick Gaelic Grounds Ltd, seeks ‘permission to hold concerts in accordance with the requirement of Condition No. 5 of the permission granted to Limerick Gaelic Grounds Development Committee by Limerick City Council’.
It effectively amounts to city council permitting a change in a planning condition applied when the stadium was redeveloped that it could be used for sporting events only.
The county board discussed taking this action in late 2011, but were advised to complete detailed event planning and traffic management plans for a large scale event before applying.
County board secretary Mike O’Riordan said the body would “be expecting to do something maybe next year if permission was granted”.
“We have discussed the possibilities with promoters but it depends on the removal of the stipulation before we could discuss it further. It would be definitely 2013 and that would be all going well,” he explained this week.
The GAA are looking at hosting concerts that could accommodate up to 60,000 in the Ennis Road stadium, making them a strong alternative to Thomond Park, who can only host in the region of 26,000.
Thomond Park, who played host to Pink and Elton John in recent years, had an offer out to the Cranberries to perform this summer, but decided the concert was not financially viable in the current economic climate.
Local residents are likely to strongly oppose any moves to host concerts at the Ennis Road stadium and have already expressed opposition to any mooted change in planning for the Gaelic Grounds.
“We would be hoping that people could look at the bigger picture and what it would bring into Limerick and the economic value to the city and county,” Mr O’Riordan responded. “If there are any concerns with any of the residents we would be more than happy to discuss them,” he added.
A decision is due in August.