Lansdowne Road Stadium
The Irish Rugby Football Union and Football Association of Ireland have confirmed that their redevelopment of Lansdowne Road Stadium is on schedule to lodge a planning application by the end of the year. The organisations also expect to be in a position to reveal the conceptual design for the new stadium within a month.
The Steering Group set up by the Government to oversee the project whose membership comprises of representatives of the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, the Department of Finance and the OPW as well as representatives of the IRFU and the FAI met today to receive a progress report on the development of the new stadium project.
Mr Philip Browne, Chairman of Lansdowne Road Stadium Development Company, speaking after the meeting said that the IRFU and the FAI were delighted with the preliminary designs shown to them by the stadium architects. He said he believed they had more than met the challenges posed in creating a 50,000 state-of-the-art all seater stadium on the Lansdowne Road site.
Currently the architects are putting the final touches to the design while our project managers are finalising a detailed costing. We hope to be in a position to show the proposed designs to our many different stakeholders in the next month.
He also noted that work was progressing on the planning application which he was confident would be lodged before the end of the year. The overall plan announced last year envisages work on the stadium commencing in 2007, subject to planning, with a 27 month construction programme.
In making the announcement, Mr Browne also announced that Mr Willie Ryan, the Project Director had informed the board some time ago that he, for personal reasons, wished to step down from the project. As the design and project management team appointed recently following a competitive tendering process are both now fully engaged in the project and with the presentation of the conceptual design for the new stadium imminent, both the Board and Mr Ryan agreed that this would be an appropriate moment for him to move on.
Mr Browne, in paying tribute to Mr Ryan, said: "We were delighted that Mr Ryan was in a position to stay with the project until this point, which we see as the first major milestone for the project".
On behalf of both the IRFU and the FAI Mr Browne thanked him for, what he said was, a major contribution in getting the project to this stage in less than a year. Mr Ryan will be replaced as Project Director by Mr Michael Greene who has been with LRSDC since January.
Mr Greene has had a distinguished career in the management of major projects both in Ireland and abroad. He began his career with ESB where he spent 20 years before moving to work with the major Irish construction company, Kentz. More recently he was brought in as Project Manager to ensure the successful completion of the LUAS project.