By Sean Creedon
DUBLIN — The FAI has got permission from South Dublin County Council to build Eircom Park at the foot of the Dublin mountains.
But the permission comes with a few provisos.
The main one is to convince the government that the flight path to Baldonnel ‘rodrome will not be affected. At present Baldonnel is a military airport, but with Dublin Airport unable to cope, there’s no doubt that in years to come Ireland’s capital city will have a second airport.
There’s also a problem with parking and officials within the FAI are sniping away at their Chief Executive Bernard O’Byrne over increased costs.
And of course Taoiseach Bertie Ahern still wants the FAI to abandon their plans and row in with his so called "Bertie Drome" in Blanchardstown on the north side of Dublin.
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Meanwhile, the Irish Rugby Football Union is sitting back, watching and waiting. The IRFU has a site at Newlands Cross, only a few miles from the Eircom Park site and it also have the option of building a new modern stadium at Lansdowne Road. Like Croke Park, Lansdowne is within walking distance of the city center and is well served by public transport.
For years the FAI was criticized for not having its own stadium. Now, when it finally gets a site and a sponsor, the Government tries to block it. The GAA naturally wants to keep Croke Park to itself, while the rugby body sits back and watches everybody else squabble.