Blackrock College R.F.C and Cuala GAA have announce that they have entered a ground sharing agreement at the rugby club’s facilities at Stradbrook, Blackrock, Co Dublin.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), that will enable the development of Stradbrook as a multi-sport facility, was signed by both clubs on Friday evening and is subject to approval by their members.
The MOU states that, subject to agreement from the respective general membership of each club, Cuala GAA will purchase the lands at the lower section of Blackrock College R.F.C. In addition, it says that the ground sharing agreement plan will envisage the development of a fenced all weather playing facility, general pitch upgrades, floodlight installation and the provision of a new gym.
John Smyth, President of Blackrock College R.F.C said, “This agreement is in keeping with our vision to develop Stradbrook as a multi-sport facility and marks the beginning of a new era for Blackrock College R.F.C. The rugby only business model is not sustainable in the new world of the professional game in Ireland. We firmly believe that this innovative initiative will support the future development of both clubs.”
Peadar McAdam, Chairman of Cuala Gaa Club said, “This agreement has the potential to develop a world class sports centre, and with inter club sharing agreements, will deliver the facilities including a support network that is required to ensure both codes can continue to grow and perform at the highest levels. It opens up the facility to a much larger community of members and will only serve to promote sport amongst our youth”.
Blackrock College R.F.C was founded in 1882, making it one of the oldest senior rugby clubs in Ireland. Their membership of almost 1200 consists of players, coaches, associate and life members. They also operate one of the largest mini-rugby programs in Ireland. The club’s men’s first team compete the AIL Division 1B and their ladies first team are in AIL Division 1.
Cuala GAA Club was established over 30 years and has developed into one of the largest GAA clubs in the country. Their membership of almost 2000 people consisting of players, mentors, coaches and social continues to expand. At adult level, both Senior hurlers and Senior footballers play at the top level and both minor and juvenile sections continue to thrive. The club’s ladies section is one of the fastest growing in the county. They are currently supplying many County players to the various Dublin squads with many provincial and All Ireland winners amongst them.