*Eamon O’Dea, Pat Dowling, Kieran Keating, Kieran Keating, Deirdre Murphy, Brian Fitzpatrick. Photograph: Brian Arthur

AGREEMENT of a commercial arrangement with Clare County Council for the Cloister Car Park offers some assurance to Clare GAA.

Both Clare GAA and Clare County Council have signed a memorandum of understanding that will see the Council lease the Cloister car park from Clare GAA with development works to commence in the coming months before its completion by the end of 2024.

Treasurer of Clare GAA, Brian Fitzpatrick told The Clare Echo that the provision of a guaranteed and constant income stream “was one of the most important aspects” of the deal reached with the two parties.

Exact finances surrounding the deal have not been disclosed yet with drawings to be designed on the redevelopment works.

Dooradoyle native Fitzpatrick who works as a commercial Sales Director with global aircraft leasing company BoComm Leasing explained, “one of our big KPIs was generating revenue from a car park like this and something we could dial into the budgets every year because we know financially that the cost of teams and facilities is going up so this project was a win win in that Clare County Council and the town of Ennis needed parking spaces and for us we could turn this piece of real estate into a revenue generation asset.

“When we go looking at budgets for the year and funding Clare GAA, it now has a reoccurring income stream that we can start dialling into which is nice to have some assurance and certainty on it, that was a key aspect of the overall negotiations, it is one thankfully that was recognised by the parties, with the MOU and the signing it is good for everyone concerned,” the Clooney/Quin clubman added.

Addition of a fanzone in Cusack Park is among the items tipped to be in place for future Munster senior hurling championship games taking place in the county grounds as a result of the new arrangement.

Head of Operations with Clare GAA, Deirdre Murphy said any potential “positive changes” in Cusack Park will be put before club members first. “This is a discussion on the car park, there’s meetings with our own club members and that is the forum for that first, there’s no secret and no surprises let’s say. Win A House is just finished, starting the Astro is dependent on sports capital funding announcement and that project will start after an announcement”.

Deirde detailed the current works ongoing across Clare GAA’s facilities, “there’s kerbing going in at Caherlohan at the moment, dugouts going in at Caherlohan and Clareabbey, we’re looking at the barbed wire fencing in Cusack Park, there’s nothing shocking anyone who is looking at our facilities to point out, there’s a lot of small gains that have happened in Caherlohan in terms of being able to make a cup of tea and things, this is just another step but as mentioned Noeleen Fitzgerald, Pat Dowling, Carmel Kirby, Seán Lenihan, Caroline O’Connor and all we’ve been in discussions with, it’s two community organisations, the GAA is here for our clubs and our teams, Clare County Council are trying to operate for the good of the community, we’ve two community organisations working for the good of their members so I think it can only be a positive outcome”.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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