A fundraising campaign to develop Semple Stadium ahead of the centenary All Ireland Hurling Final offers investors the chance to double their money.
The Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) have launched a £1 million development programme for Semple Stadium in Thurles, County Tipperary.
The GAA was set up by Michael Cusack at Hayes's Hotel in Thurles, in 1884. The local GAA is determined that Thurles will be the focal point of centenary celebrations in two years time.
Thurles is the home of the GAA. It all began here in 1884.
The All Ireland Hurling Final is due to be played at Semple Stadium in the year of the GAA centenary. However, the stadium development comes at a bad time for the GAA whose debts are crippling some county organisations.
To date, £850,000 has been spent on the development. Another half a million pounds is needed to complete the project. The GAA hopes to raise the additional finance without spending a penny in bank interest. Investors are being offered a return of £2 for every £1 investment meaning that the committee will have to pay back £1 million within 10 years. The question is can the Semple Stadium project succeed where other plans, such as that of Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork, ran into massive amounts of debt.
Father Pierce Duggan, Chairman of the Fundraising Campaign says that they are offering people a just reward for their investment. He is confident that the campaign can meet this commitment. The alternative, a bank loan, would place a much higher financial burden on the organisation. He is also confident that the All Ireland Hurling Final will be played in Thurles in two years time.
They'll be receiving double their money back.
Despite the assurances that the project will be completed in Thurles, there is worry across the organisation about the level of GAA debt throughout the country.
President of the GAA Paddy McFlynn speaking at the fundraising campaign launch, endorses the scheme and the effort to get the work at Semple Stadium completed.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 March 1982. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.