PLANS by Limerick GAA officials to raise revenue by staging concerts at the Gaelic Grounds have struck a bum note with local residents.
Loud music from the Ennis Road stadium is the last thing its elderly neighbours need, according to Donal Killeen, chairman of the Greystones Residents Association.
County Board secretary Mike O’Riordan this month confirmed that the GAA intended to seek permission from Limerick City Council to remove a condition of planning – attached when the Gaelic Grounds was redeveloped – that the venue could only be used for sports-related events.
“We are also in the process of meeting with a national concert promoter with a view of hosting an event in 2012. The economic value to Limerick city and county would be in the millions and with the economy the way it is at present, this would be of huge benefit to the whole community, not alone the GAA, ” Mr O’Riordan said, adding the capacity for a concert in the Gaelic Grounds could reach 60,000.
But Mr Killeen said his association would oppose any application by the GAA to amend conditions on how the stadium can be used.
“The GAA have said that they are looking for a change and that they want to remove a condition that it can only be used for sports,” Mr Killeen said.
“I can tell them that Greystones residents will be objecting to that and there will also be strong opposition from Clareview and other residents groups on the Ennis Road. We have a lot of elderly people around in what is a very mature and settled area and we will be doing all that we can to stop this,” he vowed.
Mr O’Riordan told the Limerick Leader that the GAA had already met with an experienced concert promoter with links to both MCD and Aiken Promotions and “the feedback that we have got is that they are willing to discuss the situation further”.
And he hinted that the Gaelic Grounds could accommodate bigger acts than had played to date at Thomond Park – including Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart and Pink.
“Thomond Park is limited to a capacity of around 27,000 - we could go to 50,000 or 60,000 so it would be a different act, ultimately, that would be playing in the Gaelic Grounds,” he said.