Thomas Davis to make stadium row election issue
18 April 2007
The bitter row over Tallaght Stadium is set to escalate after the Thomas Davis club urged its members to make it a general election issue.
The Tallaght club want the intended home of Shamrock Rovers opened to hurling and football, and have the backing of both the Dublin county board and Croke Park. But Sports Minister John ODonoghue is adamant that the half-built stadium will be a soccer-only facility when completed.
Now Thomas Davis have turned up the heat by calling on its members to make the battle a political issue at local level ahead of the upcoming general election. A letter to club members also confirms that Dublin South West TD and Minister of State Conor Lenihan is no longer welcome at the club because of his support for ODonoghues stance.
“We strongly believe all parties who do not support the position being adopted by the club are pinning their colours squarely against the GAA and that members should bear this in mind come general election time,” reads the letter from chairman Christopher ODonnell.
“In recent weeks, five former chairmen of the club have met with Minister of State Conor Lenihan. He has clearly signalled that he would not support Thomas Davis nor the GAA.
“It has been made clear to him that he will receive no support from Thomas Davis GAA club nor is he welcome at the club unless GAA is accommodated at the stadium. Members are requested to ask all election candidates whether they support the use of Tallaght Stadium for all sports, including soccer and GAA recognising firstly, Shamrocks priority use of the stadium, secondly the legitimate expectation on the part of the GAA to use the stadium, and thirdly, the face that stadium is funded exclusively from Government funding.
“All club members have a role in ensuring that Government politicians cannot get away with this disgraceful behaviour by informing people who they come into contact with of the facts.”