Brighter days ahead for TU Dublin GAA

By Hayden Moore

DESPITE all third level GAA activity being cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, GAA Development Officer Gerry Anderson is excited about the future of the games within TU Dublin Tallaght Campus.

The GAA Higher Education committee made the decision this past week to pull the plug on all college and university related GAA activity.

TUD BUILDING WORK 03 1 1

Construction work that is being carried out on the new Sports Science, Health and Recreation facility in TU Dublin Tallaght

“It was expected in light of the current health crisis that we’re in,” TU Dublin Tallaght Campus GAA Development Officer Gerry Anderson told The Echo.

“Cancelling the GAA season was kind of an automatic necessary thing to do when you consider the upsurge in the numbers [of cases and deaths related to COVID-19].

 “We must follow the advice of our health professionals and act accordingly because people’s lives are at stake, everything else is secondary. [GAA] is secondary.

“I’d be optimistic that we could get going in April, but that would be more for the club and intercounty teams. That would be too late for the colleges tournaments” said Anderson.

Construction on a new €11 million state-of-the-art Sports Science, Health and Recreation building in TU Dublin Tallaght finally commenced last month.

The building itself will provide teaching, research, laboratory and recreation facilities for students and the wider community.

After being given the go-ahead in February of 2019, the develop-ment is also set to include a grass playing pitch covering 140 x 90m with floodlights, scoreboard, spectator seating and ball catch nets behind the goal posts.

The project is due to be completed in December 2021, leaving it ready to go for the following academic season.

“There is a new pitch coming on stream hopefully next year at the Tallaght campus. It should be up and ready to go for the 2022-’23 season,” says Anderson.

“That will be a great asset for not only the colleges teams, but for the surrounding area, the local GAA clubs too.

“Over the years, the college has used the facilitates in Thomas Davis and St Anne’s, so it will be nice to reciprocate some of the generosity they have shown the college down through the years.”

Before the rebranding to TU Dublin Tallaght Campus, IT Tallaght enjoyed great success in the college’s competitions, winning several All-Ireland titles in recent years.

For Anderson, he believes that the addition of the new facilities will provide a massive “boost” to the local area and provide an important stepping stone in developing GAA players within the college.

There are more than 100 members of the Tallaght Campus GAA Club across six teams, competing in hurling, gaelic football, camogie and handball.

“All the best players play in the colleges competitions. They’re a great opportunity for players to play at a high level” added Anderson.

“To compete, continue their development and enjoy their time playing.The colleges competitions are an important part of the organisation for sure.”

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