/ GAA

Final whistle blows on Páirc Uí Chaoimh - for now

Updated: Friday, 11 Jul 2014 23:22 | Comments

Cork hurlers training on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch in 1980s
Cork hurlers training on the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch in 1980s

Video

By James McMahon

The bulldozers are set to move in on Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Not before time, many would add.

Sunday's Munster hurling final between Cork and Limerick is the last at the venue before the €70million redevelopment begins.

What will emerge will be a 60,000-seater sports and concert venue.

Those of a certain generation may be surprised that Páirc Uí Chaoimh opened in June 1976, replacing the old Athletic Park that was deemed no longer fit for purpose.

It was named after Pádraig Ó'Caoimh, a Roscommon native, who became secretary of the Cork GAA board at the age of 21 and would later serve a 35-year stint as GAA General Secretary. 

Work began on the stadium in April 1974. When completed the overall cost came to £1.4million.

Sunday 6 June, 1976 saw the official opening by the GAA President, Con Murphy. On the field of play, the then reigning All-Ireland football and hurling champions, Kerry and Kilkenny, faced their Cork counterparts.

As is the case on Sunday next, Cork and Limerick also contested the 1976 Munster hurling final at Páirc Ui Chaoimh.

The Rebels prevailed on a scoreline of 4-15 to 3-05.

You can watch highlights of that game here.

Many memorable games have been played at the venue over the years.

In 1983, Kerry were denied a ninth Munster football title on the trot when a late Tadhg Murphy goal gave Cork victory. 

 In that same summer, Dublin travelled to the southern capital for an All-Ireland football semi-final replay.

The Dubs fans brought much colour and fervour with them and saw their team emerge victorious on a 4-15 to 2-10 scoreline.  

2002 saw Waterford win their Munster hurling title since 1963 when beating hot favourites Tipperary 2-23 to 3-12.

Páirc Uí Chaoimh has also played host to many of the world's top musical acts.

U2, Michael Jackson, Oasis,The Stone Roses and Bruce Springsteen have all performed at the Leeside venue.

During the 1970s and 80s, The Siamsa Cois Laoi festival saw the likes of Joan Baez, Glenn Campbell. Donn McLean, The Dubliners and Leo Sayer offer an eclectic mix of musical offerings.  

Watch here an RTÉ News report on the 1980 Siamsa Cois Laoi.

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