Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have officially opened the All-Weather Pitch at Oatlands College, showcasing the innovative use of natural infill material which provides a safe and environmentally friendly playing surface.

This pitch is the first in the country to utilise corn husk as part of its construction, moving away from traditional microplastic-filled pitches.

Councillor Denis O’Callaghan, Cathaoirleach, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said: “I would like to acknowledge the positive co-operation and contributions made by the schools, the land-owner, local clubs, and residents, without whom, this project would not be possible. These new enhanced facilities will provide an excellent environment for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy a variety of sports throughout the year.”

The opening of this innovative pitch will provide enhanced facilities for both the schools and local clubs, catering primarily to GAA and soccer, whilst also ensuring that rugby and other sports can be played in a safe manner, especially during the winter months.

The new facilities include:

An overall pitch size of 136m x 86m, accommodating one GAA pitch (130m x 80m),
One soccer pitch (100m x 60m) and cross-field play.

The GAA pitch will be permanently marked in white and the soccer in blue. The surface will be synthetic turf with a shockpad below, which complies with the FIFA, GAA and IRB requirements allowing for a multi-use facility.

In addition, the pitch comprises floodlighting, new access steps and ramps, a spectator space, a large storage area, dug-outs, fencing and ballstop netting, full sized GAA goals – permanently installed, full sized soccer goals (portable), retractable/portable small-sided goals (GAA, soccer & rugby).

Frank Curran, Chief Executive, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said at the launch:

“Delivering sporting facilities is a key priority of mine and the provision of these new facilities ensures a high level of sports participation and the positive impact that sporting facilities have on health, wellbeing, inclusion and quality of life. The delivery of this project aligns with our sporting objectives, policies and strategies which promote the provision and management of high-quality sporting and recreational infrastructure throughout the County in partnership with local schools and clubs.”

The area of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown has the highest participation rate in the country per capita and facilities like these hugely benefit the clubs in the county. The collaboration and support of local schools, clubs, and residents have been instrumental in bringing this innovative facility to life.


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