THE playing surface at Croke Park will be re-laid this summer using imported turf from Lincolnshire as the GAA are once again unable to find an Irish supplier.
With two Bruce Springsteen concerts scheduled for May, followed by a Beyonce show on July 6, the pitch at GAA HQ will be incapable of recovering naturally in time to host the Leinster Senior Football final on July 17.
The pitch has not been re-laid since 2011 and, five years on after buying from a farm in Scunthorpe, the GAA have again been forced to turn to English turf suppliers as no Irish service can meet their demands, much to the Association’s dismay.
GAA stadium and commercial director Peter McKenna said: “At present, there are no Irish suppliers that can provide us with the type of grass composition (60 per cent poa pratensis, 40 per cent perennial ryegrass) and maturity that we require and we will again look for it from this farm in Lincolnshire.
“We’d only be delighted to purchase from an Irish supplier. There is an opportunity in that space for somebody to do it in Ireland. The RDS from time to time have looked for the same. It’s a big business and somebody in Ireland could take advantage if they are inclined to diversify.”
The playing surface at Croke Park measures 145 metres long by 88m wide and around 1,500 sods will be required to replace the damage, which is expected to peak in front of Hill 16 where the concert stages will be erected.