Malahide Cricket Club has secured funding of €450,000 to build an international-standard cricket ground with a capacity of 12,000.

The announcement was made in a statement released by Dublin North Fianna Fail TD Darragh O’Brien today.

It is ‘conservatively estimated’ that each major international game held at the grounds in future will generate €1.5m for the economy.

The Dublin North TD said: 'I’m delighted to confirm that the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport Mary Hanafin has sanctioned a grant of €450,000 for the redevelopment of the cricket ground at Malahide Cricket Club.

‘The funding will be used to extend the ground (playing pitch), making it the first international standard cricket ground in the Republic of Ireland with a capacity of 12,000.

‘It will also be the only international ground for any sport in the North Dublin area,' added Deputy O’Brien.

'While this is great news for cricket and recognition of its growing support, the economic benefits of this development cannot be underestimated.

‘The impact of teams like Australia, England and Pakistan travelling here to play Ireland will be enormous for the tourism, transport and hospitality sectors.

'Most people are aware of the continued success of the Irish cricket team - this commitment is an affirmation of the support by the Government for the sport and the hard work of the national team.

‘I want to personally thank my colleague Mary Hanafin for her efforts in working to ensure cricket will benefit from this world class facility.

'Malahide was selected last year as the preferred venue for an international ground and I expect the work to begin very soon following this announcement.'

Deputy O’Brien added: 'Cricket is a fantastic sport which has huge growth potential.

‘There is a very loyal following for cricket in the North Dublin area and many other communities around the country.

‘I believe this will only grow and grow as people see the world-class facility we’re constructing here and the social and economic benefits that can come from this kind of investment.'

Cricket Ireland has also welcomed the news, calling Malahide a cricket heartland in the Republic of Ireland.

‘Cricket Ireland is delighted with the announcement of funding for the development of Malahide CC into an international venue.

'It is a massive vote of confidence by the Government in our sport, and recognition of our increasing profile on the world stage, which we hope our performances in the World Cup in the New Year will only amplify.

'It is entirely fitting that one of the true cricket heartlands in this country will play host in years to come to the great teams of the world, such as England and Australia, as Ireland builds on its success and its aspirations to challenge the world’s best.'