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Cork’s family friendly all-weather development gets green light

(St Munchin’s Junior team after losing to Rockwell in Independent Park, Cork)
IT’S all happening down by Leeside with Munster Rugby getting the green light to go ahead with the construction of an indoor training facility at Irish Independent Park. Underage sides and the surrounding community with local clubs, schools and community groups set to benefit. A synthetic all-weather playing surface, a gymnasium, dressing rooms, treatment rooms, a kitchen and public toilets have been approved for construction at the Pearse Road end of the stadium by Cork County Conuncil.
The Cork venue has also edged out Thomond Park in off-season revenue reaping with six concerts being hosted at Irish Independent Park this month.
In terms of size, the all-weather playing surface will be 60 by 40 metres and the gymnasium will be 2,000 square feet. The plans also include a new single-storey ticketing booth and increased parking for both cars and buses.
The plan for the new facility comes hot on the heels of the installation of Munster’s new modified 3G pitch.
According to Acting CEO Philip Quinn said planning has been approved and, all going well, work will start on the new facility at the end of the year or early next year once the grant funding is announced.
“We want a high-quality hub for provincial rugby and a superb facility for our surrounding community and that’s exactly what we’re going to bring for the region. The new facility will be available to local schools, clubs and community groups as necessary,” added the Mr Quinn.
All four of Munster’s Guinness PRO14 games in Cork sold out for the first time last season and the Ireland U20s played both of their home 6 Nations games at Irish Independent Park.

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