Development work at the GAA's new facility at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown is set to commence and this milestone was marked today with the turning of the first sod at the site.

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Liam Ó Néill and Ard Stiúrthóir Páraic Ó Dúfaigh were joined at the facility by the Minster for Sport, Tourism and Transport Leo Varadkar TD and Seán Benton, chair of the NSCDA.

The project is to provide a centre of excellence for the GAA on a national scale.

This involves the provision of a total of five pitches, four full size floodlit, including a synthetic pitch and a smaller training pitch.

The pitches will be serviced by a new pavilion building that accommodates ten changing rooms with associated physio, referees, meeting rooms, dining facility and reception area.

In addition there is provision for a covered seated spectator area for approximately 400 persons, which is fully accessible. Adequate car parking will form part of the works.

The building will make use of the latest sustainable energy options to reduce the running costs on a life cycle basis.

Adjacent to the pavilion building, there will be a state of the art hurling wall. 

GAA president Liam Ó Néill said: "We are delighted to mark the next phase - indeed the most important phase of the project - that will see the installation of our pitches and other facilities and I look forward to seeing progress in the coming weeks and months."