Economic boost as Ireland gets first international-standard cricket ground – O’Brien

Fri, Oct 8, 2010 4:00 PM

Dublin North Fianna Fail T.D. Darragh O'Brien has secured a major commitment of €450,000 to revamp Malahide Cricket Club, creating a world-class, international-standard cricket ground which will be a major boost to the sport and the economy, locally and nationally. It's conservatively estimated that each major international game held at the grounds in future will generate €1.5m for the economy.

"I'm delighted to confirm that the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin has sanctioned a grant of €450,000 for the redevelopment of the cricket ground at Malahide Cricket Club. The funding will be used to extend the ground (playing pitch), making it the first international standard cricket ground in the Republic of Ireland with a capacity of 12,000. It will also be the only international ground for any sport in the North Dublin area," said Deputy O'Brien.

"While this is great news for cricket and recognition of its growing support, the economic benefits of this development cannot be underestimated. €1.5 million will be generated for the economy for every major international game held at the new grounds. The impact of teams like Australia, England and Pakistan travelling here to play Ireland will be enormous for the tourism, transport and hospitality sectors."

"Most people are aware of the continued success of the Irish cricket team - this commitment is an affirmation of the support by the Government for the sport and the hard work of the national team. I want to personally thank my colleague Mary Hanafin for her efforts in working to ensure cricket will benefit from this world class facility."

"Malahide was selected last year as the preferred venue for an international ground and I expect the work to begin very soon following this announcement. I want to thank the Fingal County Manager David O'Connor and his officials; Evelyn Harmon, the president of Malahide Cricket Club; Club Secretary Ann Bracken, Treasurer Norman Adams; the previous MCC president Justin Rogers who had a vision for this many years ago; and Ian Talbot the project manager deserves tremendous praise for his work on this important development."

Deputy O'Brien added: "Cricket is a fantastic sport which has huge growth potential. There is a very loyal following for cricket in the North Dublin area and many other communities around the country. I believe this will only grow and grow as people see the world-class facility we're constructing here and the social and economic benefits that can come from this kind of investment."

Welcoming the announcement Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said: "Cricket Ireland is delighted with the announcement of funding for the development of Malahide CC into an international venue. It is a massive vote of confidence by the Government in our sport, and recognition of our increasing profile on the world stage, which we hope our performances in the World Cup in the New Year will only amplify. It is entirely fitting that one of the true cricket heartlands in this country will play host in years to come to the great teams of the world, such as England and Australia, as Ireland builds on its success and its aspirations to challenge the world's best."

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