Tallaght Stadium (Irish: Staid Thamhlachta) is an association football stadium in the Republic of Ireland based in Tallaght, South Dublin. The club Shamrock Rovers originally announced details of the stadium in July 1996. The stadium is now owned and operated by South Dublin County Council with Shamrock Rovers as the anchor tenants.
|Location||Whitestown Way, Tallaght, |
South Dublin, Ireland
|Public transit||Tallaght (Luas Red Line)|
|Owner||South Dublin County Council|
|Operator||South Dublin County Council|
|Construction cost||€11.2 million (to May 2009)|
|Architect||Martin Noone Architects|
|Structural engineer||Muir Associates|
|Services engineer||R N Murphy & Assocs.|
|Shamrock Rovers F.C.|
Republic of Ireland women's national football team
The main stand holds home supporters, away supporters, club officials and press. A second stand on the opposite (east) side of the ground, was completed in August 2009. This stand holds the stadium's TV gantry and has brought the seating capacity to 6,000. Both stands are covered. A temporary south stand was constructed over a short period in early September 2011 for Rovers's games in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League group stage. Refreshment stalls are located at the southern end as is a stadium control room.
In June 2013 a scoreboard was added to the stadium control room.
Temporary seating has been constructed at the stadium three times—once for a club friendly against Real Madrid, which gave the ground a temporary capacity of 10,900 again before the 2009 FAI Cup Final, giving the ground a temporary capacity of 8,500 and for Rovers' games in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League group stage.
Megastore and Rovers Café
Located behind the main stand is the Shamrock Rovers Megastore. Though previously run by kit supplier, Umbro, it is now fully operated by Rovers. The Megastore was expanded in March 2011 to include the Rovers Café. Within the Café is a large collection of memorabilia and trophies from the club's foundation in 1901 to the present day that have been donated to the Shamrock Rovers Heritage Trust and have been placed on public display. For the 2013 League of Ireland season the cafe was replaced with a Customer service area.
The Glenmalure Suite in Tallaght Stadium is an exclusive bar area open to club members only on match days. Club members can visit the Glenmalure Suite 60 minutes before kick off, at half time, and after the game for 30 minutes. Occasional post match Q&A with the manager and players are held in the suite.
On 10 February 1997 South Dublin County Council passed a resolution to lease land comprising approximately 12.18 acres (49,300 m2) at Whitestown Way for the construction of a Stadium for Shamrock Rovers F.C. On 14 January 1998 planning permission was granted and on 24 March 2000 the lease was granted to Mulden International Limited. On 20 October 2000 Mulden International Limited transferred their lease to Slonepark Company Limited to build the stadium and work commenced in October 2000. Work ceased at the site in November 2001 with the pitch and drainage laid, the main stand almost complete and other buildings in various states of completion.
Following a prolonged period where no work was carried out at the stadium and a refusal by the Planning Authority in December 2004 to extend the lease the Council terminated the lease on 4 January 2004.
An examiner was appointed to Shamrock Rovers F.C. on 11 April 2005 and the council engaged in discussions with the examiner regarding the completion of the stadium and its use by Shamrock Rovers Football Club when completed. Following the examinership process a supporters group, the '400 Club' took control of Shamrock Rovers and run the club today as the Shamrock Rovers Members Club.
A public consultation process began on 18 July 2005 to complete the soccer stadium at Sean Walsh Memorial Park. Thomas Davis CLG participated fully in the public consultation process. A county Managers report was presented to the council on 12 December 2005 which provided for the increase of playing area to accommodate senior Gaelic games and other uses subject to allocation of funds from the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism. The council then informed the Department of the resolution and request clarification regarding funding from the Department.
A reply was received from the Department on 24 January 2006 stating that the Minister could not agree to make funding available for the modified development.
The recent Council decision to adopt the manager's report subject to increasing the size of the playing pitch and extending the stands seriously undermines the basis of the previously agreed approach. A larger pitch cannot easily be accommodated within the present site given the buildings already in place and would mean that a future stand at the far side of the existing uncompleted stand would be about half the size as originally envisaged, thus limiting the future capacity to about 4,500. Given that the ends of the partially completed west stand are curved means that any proposal to extend along the length is likely to involve significantly increased costs. ... In response to the request from South Dublin County Council that funding be provided towards the new development as envisaged by the resolution recently passed by your Council, I wish to confirm that the Minister cannot agree to make the funding available on the basis of the new proposed development.— Letter from Dept. Arts, Sport & Tourism, 24 January 2006
Acting on the Ministers response the Council voted in favour of proceeding with the original plans on 13 February 2006.
Thomas Davis GAA club instituted judicial review proceedings in the High Court in May 2006. Their main argument was that the decision of the council on 13 February 2006 to revert to the original plans for the stadium, which did not include a senior GAA pitch, was unlawful. Their submission on the technical point was accompanied by cultural arguments that 'the youth of Tallaght will be restricted to a diet of Association football' and that a soccer-only ground would place the 'applicant at a severe disadvantage in attracting the youth of Tallaght to the club, the sport and the GAA culture'. However the stadium, with the original design, could accommodate junior GAA games as the pitch used at this level fits within the stadium's dimensions. It was only senior GAA games that would not have been facilitated.
The disagreement had several low points that were played out in the media. Some Shamrock Rovers fans unveiled a banner at a league game showing their contempt for Thomas Davis's actions in taking the matter to court. And contrary to the GAA policy of being apolitical Thomas Davis GAA club made it known that the Minister of State Conor Lenihan TD, the local Dáil representative, was no longer welcome at the club because of his support for Minister John O'Donoghue's stance and called for the clubs members to make the stadium a General Election issue.
The judicial review began on 20 April 2007 and concluded on 14 December 2007. In the High Court decision Mr. Justice Roderick Murphy found in favour of South Dublin Co. Council and Shamrock Rovers. He found that Thomas Davis had no financial or proprietary interest in the development site having had no agreement with SDCC for its use and noted the extensive facilities they had already been given by the council. And so Thomas Davis was not prejudiced by the decision being made in February rather than late January. The resolution to change the stadium was conditional on additional funding from the Department in the absence of this funding the resolution could not stand or, more properly, could not be implemented. The court concluded that "it would be wrong of the respondent to commit itself to unbudgeted expenditure or to delay the implementation of its resolution of 13 February 2005. The court, accordingly, refuses the relief sought by Thomas Davis."
An application by Thomas Davis for leave to appeal this decision to the Supreme court was refused by Judge Murphy on 25 January 2008. Building commenced on the stadium on 6 May 2008, six and a half years after work had first stopped.
Opening and development
The first game in the new stadium was held on 13 March 2009. Rovers made a winning start to life in Tallaght as they saw off the challenge of Sligo Rovers 2–1 in front of a sell-out crowd of 3,000. Gary Twigg had the honour of being the first man to score at the new stadium.
The stadium was officially opened on Saturday 27 June.
On 20 July 2009, Shamrock Rovers played Real Madrid at Tallaght Stadium as part of a "festival of football" which also included games against Newcastle United and Hibernian. Temporary seating was installed taking capacity up to 10,900. Real Madrid won the game by one goal to nil with a late goal. The match was notable for the debut appearance of Cristiano Ronaldo for Real Madrid.
The second (east) stand was opened for a game against Dundalk on 22 August, which attracted over 4,500 fans. The stadium was sold out the following week, albeit with capacity restrictions (meaning a crowd of about 5,400) for a derby with St Patrick's Athletic. Its first full house with the new capacity came against Bohemians on 2 October 2009, when tickets, 6,000 of which were issued, were sold out a week in advance.
The Republic of Ireland under-21 national football team played Georgia on 9 October in Tallaght stadium, drawing 1-1. The 2009 FAI Cup Final was held at the stadium. Sporting Fingal were winners over Sligo Rovers before 8,105 people.
The biggest league attendance since Rovers moved to Tallaght was a 0–1 loss to Bohemians in front of a crowd of 6,414 on 23 April 2019. That attendance figure was topped later that season with 7,021 attending a Rovers-Bohemians derby in which Shamrock Rovers were victorious 1–0 on 30 August 2019. The following season Rovers beat Dundalk 3–2 in front of a record Tallaght crowd of 7,522 on 28 February 2020.
In order to comply with UEFA criteria for participating in the group stages of the UEFA Europa League, a south stand was constructed over a short period in early September 2011. Although constructed with temporary style construction techniques & materials the new stand was passed fit by UEFA inspectors as fulfilling the criteria for permanent seating. The inclusion of the new south stand brought the stadium capacity above the minimum of 8,500 seats needed to be classified as a Category 4 Stadium as laid out in the UEFA Stadium Infrastructure Regulations.
Due to seating restrictions at Richmond Park, St Patrick's Athletic played a 2011–12 UEFA Europa League home game against Karpaty Lviv at Tallaght Stadium, and a 2012–13 UEFA Europa League game against Hannover 96.
The stadium hosted Dundalk's home match against BATE Borisov in the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, and later their home Europa League group stage matches in 2016–17, after their home ground, Oriel Park, did not meet UEFA standards for hosting matches at either stage.
The main stand runs the length of the west side of the pitch and was the first stand to open in the stadium. One corner of the main stand is used to house away supporters. The main stand also houses the dressing rooms. The club's superstore is situated behind the stand.
The east stand runs the length of the east side of the pitch and is the most recent stand to open in the stadium. The ultras within the club's support base currently congregate in the east stand. In July 2010 a control room was constructed at the car park end of the east stand.
Ireland played their last match in the 2010 European Cup against Scotland losing 42–22. http://www.rlef.eu.com/european_cup/report?RLE00000026
The 2010 Shamrock Bowl, the final of the Irish American Football League was held on 7 August 2010. Dublin Rebels defeated the University of Limerick Vikings 15–0. The final was expected to be played in Tallaght again in 2011, should a Dublin-based team reach the final however Morton Stadium was selected over Tallaght Stadium to host the 2011 Final. The 2012 Shamrock Bowl was played in Tallaght on 14 July 2012 with Belfast Trojans triumphant.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tallaght Stadium.|
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