The GAA have today admitted that the playing surface at Cork’s Pairc UI Chaoimh was unacceptable at the weekend as they have announced plans to move the Cork v Clare Allianz League clash to Pairc UI Running later this month .
The pitch was in terrible condition and it was highlighted on the League Sunday programme on RTE as well on social media. The holes and divots resembled a golf course during the double header between Kildare and Cork in football and Cork v Wexford in hurling. Two games which Cork incidentally lost. It was during the hurling that it was more evident though as the game went on. Davy Fitzgerald Wexford boss even said the game wasn’t suitable for hurling.
Speaking to RTE Sport he said “It seems solid underneath, but seems to tar a lot on top”. He said pitch conditions made the game ‘tough’ for both sides. He said “With the game before it it made it extra tough”.
This isn’t the first time though the conditions of the pitch have been outlined since the revamp of Pairc UI Chaoimh which re-opened in 2017. Croke Park came out in December to say they would take over the running of the venue after it emerged that it cost 25 million over budget. The final costs were estimated at 86 million euro, however this has rose to 110 million and now GAA chiefs have decided to come in and take up the running and oversee operations.
The GAA released a statement regarding the pitch quality and they said “The playing surface at Pairc UI Chaoimh last weekend was unacceptable”. As was evident yesterday (Sunday) in winter conditions the surface is likely to cut up, however as the weather improves the grassroots will develop and playability will improve dramatically.
The statement read further that the Pairc UI Chaoimh stadium team have engaged with the Sports Turf Research Institute. These are international pitch specialists on who advise on what the best way forward is. The statement said that the preliminary results suggested that a pitch replacement would be needed later this year.
In regards to the Cork v Clare game in the National League switch to Pairc UI Rinn. The GAA said “Our primary reason is player safety and if an acceptable standard cannot be met we will risk player injury by fixing game in the stadium. They said the “Cork v Clare game hurling league game scheduled for February 16th will now be played at Pairc UI Rinn.”.