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Austin Stack Park to Undergo Major Redevelopment 2015-04-01 18:43:00

The news at Monday night’s County Committee meeting, that Austin Stack Park is to undergo major redevelopment, will be welcomed by all GAA people throughout the county not least the people of Tralee and its hinterland.

Chairman Mr Patrick O’Sullivan informed the meeting that the Austin Stack Park would be closing in the end of May until March/April 2016 to allow for redevelopment work that will include a new sand based pitch, new Floodlights and other development work that funding will allow. The Chairman also informed the meeting that he would be meeting the business people of Tralee this week to discuss fundraising for the venture.

“When we had to move the Kerry V Derry League match from Tralee to Killarney  last year because of the condition of the pitch, we knew then that something substantial would have to be done with it due to the pressure it was under from the winter weather conditions and the amount of times it was being used” the chairman explained.

“The floodlighting system is no longer adequate having been initially installed way back in 2001. We will source and install a modern floodlighting system while the pitch is undergoing renovations. We are meeting members of the Tralee Business Alliance to discuss funding of the redevelopment. We have a very good relationship with the business community in Killarney who make a huge contribution towards the upkeep of the Fitzgerald Stadium and we are hoping to put in place a similar arrangement with the business community in Tralee ” he continued.

Proposed Development

*    C onstruction of a Full Sand Carpet Pitch - 

Commence May / June 2015

*    Address items on the Slattery Report to ensure Capacity of the Ground is not reduced further - 

Commence June 2015 - Complete March 2016

*    Upgrade of Pitch Lighting System to ensure Night games can be played -                          

Commence & Complete in Jan / Feb 2016

*    Pavillion - Renovation / Upgrade of Pavillion & office - External facelift, painting, signage etc. - 

Date To be confirmed

The extent of the proposed works will be dependent on reciprocal finance being raised by the Tralee Businness Sector. 

In this regard initial meetings have taken place and all par​ties are very positive and confident in progressing matters to achieve this.

Kerry CLG is fully committed to completing the works as quickly as possible and look forward to working closely with all Stakeholders to the project including local residents, Business Owners, public Representatives and the Local Authority to ensure the best possible end result is achieved for all concerned.

Austin Stack Park – A place of special significance for Kerry GAA – By Paudie Commane

Austin Stack Park has a place of special significance for Kerry GAA supporters. Who will ever forget the Saturday evening when the Kerry hurlers had a famous win over the All Ireland Champions Clare; Or another Saturday evening when the Kerry Footballers got out of jail against Sligo in the All Ireland Qualifiers and they are but very recent memories. By virtue of its size, the fans are nearer to the action and the Terrace is the place to be. Nothing exemplifies that better than the 2010 County Football Final when the terrace was a sea of Black and Amber.

However Austin Stack Park needs to re-discover it's mojo.

The pitch is in need of major surgery due to the excessive demands placed on it; the terracing is in need of expansion, and the flood lighting system is in bad need of an upgrading - hard to believe it now but The Railway Cup Football Semi-final between Munster and Leinster played in Austin Stack Park on Saturday November 10th. 2001 was the first time a game organised by Central Council was played under floodlights.

Austin Stack Park is a fantastic facility for Tralee and its environs. For too long it has lain dormant. The giant is awakening. It might take some time to get where we want to go. Please join us on the journey.

Austin Stack Park – A Little bit of History

Ø      Austin Stack Park is unique in that it has been used for the playing of games since well into the 19th century.

Ø      Generally known as the Sportsfield it was owned by the County Kerry Athletic and Cricket Club.

Ø      At that time the pitch was oval shaped and surrounded by a 440 yards sloping cinder track considered to be the finest in Ireland.

Ø      In 1903 the Trustees rented the Sportsfield to a committee consisting of all GAA members and among them Austin Stack.

Ø      The County GAA Board purchased the grounds in 1929 and raised the necessary finance on a Kerry Team trip to the USA in 1931.

Ø      In 1934 the Sportsfield was converted into a rectangular pitch to host the 1934 All Ireland Semi Final against Dublin. This led to the demise of the famous cinder track.

Ø      In 1944 the grounds were named in honour of Austin Stack and a stand and a boundary wall were erected. An archway was constructed to honour Kerry’s victorious All Ireland winners.

Ø      In 1967 the Pavilion was opened and County Board meetings were held there.

Ø      In 1985, Kerry County Board opened its Offices in the Pavilion.

Ø      In 1994 a new development was completed including a new stand and terracing and redeveloped County Board Offices. They were opened by Jack Boothman the then President of the GAA.