Artist's impression of new-look Gaelic Grounds
LIMERICK GAA officials have commenced exploring possibilities for the redevelopment of the Gaelic Grounds.
In the coming months it is hoped that a new strategic plan for the Limerick GAA Headquarters could be in place with medium and long term projects - over the next decade and beyond.
At the October County Board meeting Michael Healy of Healy Partners Archiects, Glentworth St., Limerick gave a 10-minute presentation on 'emerging thoughts'.
"During the recent Five Year plan talks the Gaelic Grounds came up for discussion and delegates gave us some thoughts and ideas and their views and we asked Michael Healy to just put something on paper for us - emerging thoughts on future development work in the Gaelic Grounds," outlined Limerick GAA chairman John Cregan.
"We are just starting to look at possible future developments," said the chairman.
Michael Healy told the gathering that his words and slideshow presentation was "for consideration and discussion and nothing more specific".
"These are really only thoughts on what is possible - just ideas, that are very basic currently," said Mr Healy.
A cover on the North Stand (opposite the Mackey Stand) is one option.
"In the North Stand you currently have a lack of solar protection - we have all been over there with a sun visor and cap and the sun shining right into us. The North Stand is a magnificent structure with fantastic sight lines and we have all been there and it’s not a bother because it’s so comfortable. Maybe consideration should be given to a lightweight canopy structure - a little roof or sun visor," outlined Mr Healy.
He added: "It would be completely free-standing with no columns - an umbrella right across the uncovered stand."
He said that there were a number of options for the Mackey Stand to include corporate boxes and offices.
"It's possible to look at reconstructing the Mackey Stand to compliment the North Stand. Sight lines would be improved from what they are currently - similar to the North Stand - but not losing an capacity," he reported.
Another idea outlined was in relation to the exterior.
"The front plaza area is rather tight and maybe we could expand that a little bit and create a more welcoming entrance to the Mackey Stand and the grounds. Maybe a larger plaza area at the entrance - look at Pairc Ui Chaoimh and the space around outside. We are tight at our front door," he said.