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‘Serious concerns’ about MacHale Park pitch


Oisín McGovern

THE condition of the playing surface at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park was described as ‘a very serious concern’ at last week’s monthly meeting of the Mayo GAA Board.
Mayo GAA chairman Séamus Tuohy said he was ‘not happy’ with the current state of the pitch, which was resurfaced last year at a cost of over €300,000.
€250,000 of that amount was raised through the sale of Laochra Mhaigh Eo wall tiles.
Last week’s meeting of club delegates was told that Mayo GAA officials had met with the contractors who carried out the resurfacing to express their concerns.
Tuohy told the meeting that the recent poor weather and a high volume of matches at the venue had caused ‘wear on tear’ on the pitch, which will now be rested until mid-January.
An area under the MacHale Park stand and at the Davitt House end of the ground were cited as areas of particular concern.
Mayo Gaels club delegate Dermot Flaherty described the issue as ‘a very serious concern’.
“If you look at some of the TG4 games at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick and [Cusack Park] in Ennis, they were in mighty shape,” he said.
Mayo GAA secretary Dermot Butler said that both of the grounds mentioned by Flaherty had the benefit of artificial surfaces along their sidelines.
Seamus Tuohy added that Mayo GAA chiefs are currently pricing a synthetic surface to be installed in front of the stand.
The Breaffy clubman said the officers would not say anything else about the issue until they met with contractors to identify the source of the problem.
Separately, Tuohy revealed that Mayo GAA had received a €100,000 infrastructure grant from Croke Park for repair and maintenance works at MacHale Park.
He added that lighting in the stand had been repaired in the last couple of weeks, as well as an upgrade of the PA system and other health and safety works.
Mayo GAA’s assistant treasurer Michael Diskin told the meeting that work to develop extra training pitches for inter-county teams at Mulvey Park was ‘progressing slowly’.
Diskin said that he hoped to obtain prices for the proposed development within the next couple of weeks.

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