Páirc Esler

Páirc Esler (/ˌpɑːrk ˈɛslər/ park ESS-lər, Irish: [ˌpˠaːɾʲc ˈɛsˠlˠəɾˠ]; also Irish: Páirc an Iúir [ˈpˠaːɾʲc ənʲ ˈuːɾʲ]) is a GAA stadium in Newry, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It is the home of the Down Gaelic football and hurling teams and the Newry Shamrocks GAA club. The ground has a capacity of about 20,000.[1]

Páirc Esler
Páirc an Iúir
The Marshes
Páirc Esler is located in County Down
Páirc Esler
Páirc Esler
Location within County Down
AddressNewry, County Armagh, BT34 2QX
LocationNorthern Ireland
Coordinates54°9′47″N 6°20′5″W / 54.16306°N 6.33472°W / 54.16306; -6.33472Coordinates: 54°9′47″N 6°20′5″W / 54.16306°N 6.33472°W / 54.16306; -6.33472
Public transitNewry railway station
Newry Ulsterbus station
OwnerNewry Shamrocks
Capacity20,000[1]
Field size138 × 81 m
Construction
Renovated2006–07

HistoryEdit

The ground was named after Fr. (later Archdeacon)[2] Hugh Esler (d. 1983), a Catholic priest and Ballynahinch native credited with reinvigorating interest in Gaelic football in Newry in the 1930s–50s,[3] and with securing the grounds that was to later become Páirc Esler.

RenovationEdit

The ground has undergone major redevelopment work, with new stands, floodlights, new pitch all added in 2006–2007. From 1999 to 2004 no senior intercounty championship matches were played at the venue. After the development of a new terrace at the canal end of the ground and a new stand on the south side of the ground, Down hosted the All Ireland Champions, Tyrone, in round 2 of the football championship qualifiers. The following year both Fermanagh and Derry visited the ground in the qualifiers, Down losing to the latter. The ground was closed after the Down v Armagh game in Division 1B of the National Football League in March 2006 for further development.[4]

ReopeningEdit

 
GAA President Nicky Brennan (second from left) cuts the ribbon at the official re-opening of Páirc Esler.

With work now completed on the ground, with a new covered stand and floodlighting facilities, the ground hosted its first Ulster Senior Football Championship Match since 1999 when Cavan visited the stadium for a preliminary round replay on Sunday 20 May 2007, which the home side won 0–15 to 0–11. In June it held a first-round Ulster Championship clash with Monaghan and a first-round qualifier game with Meath – Down lost both games.

On 8 October 2007, the new stand was officially opened by GAA president Nickey Brennan, just before the start of the Senior Football Championship Final between Mayobridge and Longstone, which ended in a draw. Mayobridge won the replay, and their fourth title in a row. The 26 October saw the official switch-on of the floodlights, which was marked by the division one league final between Kilcoo and An Riocht. An Riocht won the game by 3 points, with AFL star Martin Clarke scoring 2–1 in the final. It has now hosted Dr. McKenna cup matches in 2008 in which Down played and beat Cavan, UUJ and beat Donegal 5–14 to 0–13. In the same year they won the final which was played in Casement Park, Belfast. Down V Derry, and later in the championship first round beat soon-to-be All Ireland SFC Champions Tyrone, the only team that year to do so in the championship.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Derby clash set to boost 2017 Ulster SFC attendance figures". Irish News. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  2. ^ "Parish of St Mary's Clonallon - Lisburn.com". lisburn.com.
  3. ^ "Newry Memoirs - Historic Shamrocks Club Celebrates Proud Jubilee". newrymemoirs.com.
  4. ^ "Final Revamp for Down GAA Headquarters: Contract Signed for £1.2m project at Pairc Esler". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2007.