Ahead of Premier Division kickoff, United reveal planning application for Mountain South is imminent

The proposed development at Mountain South as featured in the original application.

The proposed development at Mountain South as featured in the original application.

Just days ahead of their return to the top flight of Irish football, Galway United has revealed plans to make a fresh planning application to develop training facilities at the Mountain South site in Athenry.

Club director Jonathan Corbett confirmed the development intention of the club in a press conference held in the Connacht Hotel on Tuesday.

"We have been on to Galway County Council over the last few months," he said. "We have a meeting planned for the next few weeks. We will be putting a second application in for Mountain South in Athenry."

An initial application to develop a Centre of Excellence was made in 2022. That application was for a joint development with Connacht Hockey, but planning permission was ultimately refused by Galway County Council.

The United news comes in the wake the announcement last week by Galway GAA, Galway Camogie and Galway LGFA that they are seeking to develop their own Centre of Excellence at the Galway Airport site in Carnmore.

Mr Corbett referenced this development, saying: ‘We saw the statement from the GAA. It was great that it mentioned other sports that could be part of the airport site.

"We would definitely encourage that to happen. While the GAA haven’t contacted us as part of the talks on that, it probably feels like all sports in Galway city and county should be part of that conversation,"

The Athenry site, formerly owned by Galway GAA, is now owned by the Comer Group. Galway United have been backed by the group for the past decade. In 2022, members of the Galway United Friends Co-Operative Society voted in favour of a motion for Comer Group to have an option to acquire 85% ownership of Galway United.

With Galway United fielding eight teams across men’s and women’s football, their primary focus is on developing their own facility to mitigate the large annual rental bills currently faced.

Mr Corbett said that it is important that United have such a facility.

"At the moment, we are renting facilities all across the city and county and the application for Mountain South is our number one priority.

"We would be hoping that all councillors and politicians over the next few months give us their backing when we put that application in," he said.

‘We have now, with the FAI, asked for a meeting with the Director of Services. We are hoping to have that meeting in the next few weeks.

"We feel it is important to have our own individual site. The GAA has Loughgeorge and other various sites. Connacht Rugby got their €20million for their site in the Sportsground. Galway football and the Galway football family will be looking, not just Galway United, but Galway FA in some form with us.’

There was further news on the long-term future of Galway United when Mr Corbett confirmed that a long term lease has been signed for their current home ground.

"As of last night, the Galway FA signed off on the heads of terms for a long-term lease with Galway United for Eamonn Deacy Park. That 25-year lease should be signed within the next two to four weeks.

"It gives us some security for games we can have there every year.

"It gives us options to go for funds to enhance Eamonn Deacy Park to make it a better facility.

"We probably need a new stand on the left-hand side as you’re looking from the Dyke Road."

"‘The pitch probably needs a bit of an upgrade. Having a long-term lease gives us security to go and get stuff done like that.

"There are a lot of games on the pitch at the moment. It needs to be upgraded, it is starting to be run-down a small bit. The ground needs to be upgraded. The floodlights need to be upgraded," he concluded.


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