An additional €3.3 million in funding has been allocated to the Waterford County Board for the redevelopment of Walsh Park under the Large-Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund.
Total government funding toward the project now stands at €7,056,352, with Phase One of the development having been completed in September of this year.
Waterford County Board Chairman Sean Michael O'Regan has been speaking to WLR.
"€3.3m in funding for Walsh Park from the government is a huge statement of intent. This is a huge step forward. There are other discussions ongoing behind the scenes with Croke Park and with the government as well for further funding. Those talks will continue, but this is a huge step forward for us."
The news has been welcomed by Waterford Fianna Fail TD and Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler.
“This is really positive news for Waterford GAA who have been allocated a further €3,302,602 under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) via the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media. This significant funding is being provided to the Waterford County Board in addition to the original €3.753 million allocated in 2020 for the redevelopment of Walsh Park. I was delighted that Minister of State at the Department of Sport, Thomas Byrne TD, accepted my invitation to visit Walsh Park this past June to witness first-hand the great work being carried out as part of Phase 1 of the redevelopment of the home of Waterford GAA."
Butler continued: “The Minister also took the opportunity to view the plans for Phase 2 of the project at the Keane’s Road entrance, which incorporates new dressing rooms and further improvements to key facilities for players, match officials, and spectators.
“I want to thank Minister Byrne for his interest and immediate understanding of the significance of this project to the people of Waterford. Immense credit is also due of course to the County Board and Chairman Sean Michael O’Regan for their ongoing work in driving the development of Walsh Park and Waterford GAA."
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins believes this morning's announcement will propel further momentum behind the project.
“I have consistently raised the need for an additional allocation of funding for the redevelopment of Walsh Park with both Minister Martin and Byrne in a private capacity and on the floor of the Seanad. It was clear to me from my engagement with the county board earlier this year that the allocation of €3.753 million which was granted by the government in 2020 under the LSSIF was not going to be sufficient to enable the project to move on to phase two."
In my opinion, it is vital that the momentum and goodwill which has built up around the project is maintained. The quality of the work that has been completed to date is fantastic, but I want to see phase two commence without delay. I sincerely hope this additional allocation of €3.3 million will give the county board the confidence now to proceed with the next phase of redevelopment”.