Leo pitches in to sports stadia naming debate

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, flanked by Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton (FG), at The Sportsground - now Dexcom Stadium - last week. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, flanked by Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton (FG), at The Sportsground - now Dexcom Stadium - last week. Photo: Mike Shaughnessy.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the government may seek to be consulted in future when stadia it has grant-funded are renamed after corporate sponsorship deals.

Sporting a Connacht beanie hat instead of his usual Leinster jersey, at the Connacht – Bristol match last Friday, Varadkar told journalists he had mixed feelings about renaming stadia.

Galway’s Sportsground was renamed Dexcom Stadium this month, sponsored by the US multinational set to build a new facility in Athenry this year, creating 1,000 jobs.

“I think it depends on the circumstances,”Varadkar told RTÉ. “Páirc Uí Chaoimh was named after a person, an individual who contributed to the GAA enormously for decades.

“The Sportsground is different, it’s not named after a person, so I do think circumstances are different.”

The government is contributing €20m to the redevelopment of Dexcom Stadium on College Road, known as The Sportsground since the 1920s. The total project cost is €40m.

“One of the things we are considering doing for future grants - it can’t be done retrospectively - is if we are putting a lot of money into a stadium or into a university building, for example, we could put it into the grant of permission that it would require government to be consulted on naming,” Varadkar told reporters.

 

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