NO WORK on the redevelopment of the Emerald GAA Grounds at Ruislip will happen in 2012.
That’s according to London County Board development officer Noel Dunning, who says there’s still plenty to be done before the upgrading of the GAA’s headquarters in London can begin.
There had been hope among some County Board delegates that phase one of the redevelopment – the draining and levelling of the pitch – would begin after London’s meeting with Leitrim in the Connacht SFC on June 3.
However, Dunning insists that the Board are still in the early stages of drawing up a new plan for the project, which would suggest the best case scenario would be for work to begin early next year.
“Being realistic, it would probably be too early for anything to happen this year, although we will be trying to get things done as soon as possible. We obviously want the work done sooner rather than later,” Dunning told The Irish Post.
“It would be impossible to put an estimate or a time frame on the whole thing at the moment because we still have so much to get through, between getting approval for planning, funding and the backing of the Board. There are a lot of hurdles to jump over.”
Dunning has also suggested that it may be possible for the work involved in stages one and two – the construction of a stand and terracing – to take place at the same time.
“We’re looking into the possibility of maybe doing it all in one fell swoop,” he said. “We’re trying to get a project in place which we can then go and look for funding for.
€300,000 worth of GAA funding remains available for the project, although current president Christy Cooney stipulated last year that the London County Board must match that figure with €300,000 of their own finance before the GAA’s funds are released.
Liam O’Neill will succeed Cooney in April, but it’s not yet known whether the incoming GAA president will uphold that stipulation.