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18/10/2021

Finn Harps in discussion with Donegal County Council over future of stadium project

Project to build new facility facing ‘significant’ shortfall in funding

Donegal TD raises need for funding for Finn Harps stadium in Dáil

The future of a proposed new 5,400-capacity stadium for Finn Harps is unclear

Donegal County Council officials have met with Finn Harps over the future of the club’s new stadium.

The council has been asked to take a lead role in the project to build a new stadium for Finn Harps which is facing a shortfall in funding.

A discussion on the future of the 5,400-capacity stadium project at Monday’s meeting of the council heard that the facility, which is being built on council-owned land in Stranorlar, will be a community stadium open to sports other than soccer.

The project received a grant of almost €4m to allow the recommencement of construction in April but the project is still facing a shortfall in funding.

The council’s director of community development and planning services Liam Ward told Monday's meeting of the council that the officials recently met with the Finn Park Stadium Committee last week to discuss the project. He said the committee needs to set out what role it sees the council having in the completion of the stadium.

He said there is “a significant funding gap” to complete the stadium and the committee acknowledged it “has a lot of work to do” to establish what the funding gap is.

What the club can do in the role of fundraising is an important factor, he said.

The management of the facility into the future and the council’s role in that is also unclear, he said. 

Mr Ward said the council expects to receive an update from Finn Harps in the next two to three weeks.

Local councillors Martin Harley (FG) and Gary Doherty (SF) proposed motions calling for the council to take a lead role in ensuring the completion of the project.

Cllr Harley called on the council to ensure that the required matching funding is put in place as a matter of urgency. He said the project is for a community stadium and is very important for the whole county.

Moving the motion for Cllr Doherty, Cllr Marie Therese Gallagher (SF) said the facility will be open to members of the different sporting organisations in the community.

She said unanimous support must be given from all the groupings on the council and from the wider community as the project will be an asset for the entire community.

Independent councillor Frank McBrearty said he would not support the motion as he has concerns that are issues with mica in the construction work already carried out on the stadium.

Cllr Harley said he understood that engineers have inspected the work and there is no issue with mica.

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