The Board of SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium and Cork GAA note with surprise and extreme disappointment the decision of Cork City Council’s Planning Department in relation to its recent application for changes to the stadium and its environs.

The decision notwithstanding, there remain serious safety issues and infrastructural deficits that have the potential to impede the development of the stadium into the future.

The Board and Cork GAA’s intention was always to enhance the operation of the stadium and to improve its interaction and integration with Marina Park.

We submitted this planning application in good faith following extensive pre-planning consultations with Cork City Council, and had sought to engage positively and constructively in the process.

As applicants, we were expecting a request for further information from the Planning Department, and would have fully engaged with that process as is standard practice in most applications of this size and scale.

No such request was forthcoming.

The outright refusal raises serious and immediate questions about the safety of the existing vehicular access to Pairc UiChaoimh via the pedestrianised Marina.

Cork GAA has grave concerns about this ongoing situation.

The issue of insufficient disabled parking in proximity to the stadium, which was highlighted prominently in the application, remains a critical deficit.

The Board will continue to seek an appropriate resolution to the issues outlined, and will now consider all options.

We will continue to seek to engage with residents groups and all interested parties in a meaningful way as we work to achieve the full potential of the stadium for all the people of Cork.

The Board of Pairc UiChaoimh and Cork GAA will seek an urgent meeting with Cork City Council to discuss the refusal of the planning application.

SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh unveils plans for new GAA museum and further enhancements to public realm near stadium

New Community Liaison Officer appointed to engage with local and business communities

SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium Board has unveiled plans to improve the public offering at the stadium. The plans submitted to Cork City Council include a new GAA Museum and a new Visitor Experience centre including a café at ground floor level. There are also interior changes to enhance the stadium’s attractiveness as a conference venue together with new entrances and a car park off Monahan Road.

The pedestrianisation of the Marina, along with the development of Marina Park, has resulted in the need to change how the stadium is accessed. The proposed access changes aim to address safety issues resulting from the pedestrianisation of the Marina, which has restricted access to the only current vehicular entrance to the stadium.

The proposed routes have been successfully used in recent weeks to facilitate over 2,000 vehicular movements per day using the vaccination centre. The numbers using the same route under this planning proposal are expected to be a fraction of that number.

In anticipation of an increased number of visitors to the area with the completion of Marina Park, the Board is also seeking to increase the number of parking spaces available close to the stadium. The availability of these spaces is viewed as important in addressing a historic deficit in parking for disabled visitors to the stadium, and in ensuring that visitors to SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh or the Marina Park have a safe location to park.

Included in the proposed changes are significant new landscaping and tree planting, car and bus pick-up and drop-off points, a new set down area at the main entrance, a new drop off point at the main entrance and a new bicycle parking station on the Monahan Road/Park Avenue junction. A new accessible playground is being proposed between SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh and the Atlantic Pond.

A Planning Application for the proposed changes has been lodged following engagement with local residents, elected representatives and Cork City Council. The Board believes that its application is in line with the objectives and opportunities identified in the Marina Park Masterplan, 2013, the South Docks Local Area Plan, 2008 and the Cork City Development Plan, 2015.

SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium Board/Cork County Board have also appointed a Community Liaison Officer to deal with issues arising from traffic flow, access and the community impact of events at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The new officer has already begun engaging with the local community in advance of events and matches at the stadium. In time, SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh will appoint a Sustainability Officer to help ensure that all events hosted by SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh meet the highest environmental standards, promote sustainability and significantly reduce waste.

Chairperson of the SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium Board, John Horan, says, “The Board has carefully assessed the Business Plan for SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh in developing this new proposal. We need to ensure that we put in place an acceptable plan that while ensuring its commercial viability, it also respects the environment and our neighbours. Where events of any kind are staged at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, every effort will be made to encourage people not to drive to the stadium. We believe that the stadium has to lead the way in promoting more sustainable methods of transport.”

Marc Sheehan, Chairperson of Cork GAA, says, “The new Community Liaison Officer will also be tasked with reviewing plans for access to the stadium on match days, and other occasions where significant numbers of people will seek to travel to the site. Their mission will be to ensure minimal disruption to neighbouring communities around the stadium, and engage with them in a timely manner ahead of such events. We are committed to the introduction of a clear and accessible communication pathway between the stadium and all stakeholders including our neighbours to deal with any issues that might arise.”

Michael O’Flynn, a member of SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium Board, says, “The focus for SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh Stadium Board is on ensuring that the people of Cork get to enjoy the real benefits from the enhanced public realm around SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh and Marina Park. The pedestrianisation of the Marina has made accessing the site from its north side extremely difficult and dangerous to pedestrians. Vehicular access has to transfer to Monahan Road for safety reasons, and in doing so, we need to ensure that we put in place an acceptable plan that respects both the environment and our neighbours. We also needed to provide some additional disabled spaces for users of both the stadium and Marina Park. We look forward to engaging with Cork City Council, local elected representatives and residents groups in the weeks ahead.”


Elton John at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh

We are pleased to announce that Elton John will play at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Friday, July 1st, 2022, as part of his iconic Farewell Yellow Brick Road, The Final Tour.
Tickets go on sale next Thursday, July 22nd at 9am from all usual Ticketmaster outlets.

Westlife Concert at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh

We have just been advised that the Westlife shows at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh which were rescheduled to the 27th & 28th August 2021 (originally 28th & 29th August 2020) have been rescheduled due to COVID-19.

Please see statement from Westlife below.

We are incredibly saddened to announce that due to the most recent government COVID guidelines around the delay in lifting of restrictions across Ireland, we are unable to proceed with our shows at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork this summer.

However, we are happy to tell you that our shows have been rescheduled to Friday 12th & Saturday 13th August 2022, so please hold on to your tickets!

We can’t wait to be back on stage and to see you all again when it’s safe to do so.

Much love, Kian, Mark, Nicky & Shane xxxx

Take note:

All ticket holders will be contacted with further details.

Tickets for the rescheduled show on Friday 27th August 2021 (originally 28th August 2020) remain valid for the rescheduled show on Friday 12th August 2022.

Tickets for the rescheduled show on Saturday 28th August 2021 (originally 29th August 2020) remain valid for the rescheduled show on Saturday 13th August 2022.

All original tickets remain valid for the new date of the corresponding show.

Anything else? 
That’s all for now, if anything else comes up, we’ll be in touch.

Kind regards

Sounds of summer: The secrets behind the SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh playlist

Ciarán O’Regan provides the music in SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh on match days, leaning on his experience with Red FM. Counting down your top 20. He spoke with The Irish Examiner 

1: It’s a long enough day. I’ve to be there two hours before the game, really, because there has to be music playing before the gates open to let people to come in.

There are speakers set up outside the stadium and people gather and meet there before coming in — when there isn’t a pandemic, obviously — so you want to build the atmosphere for them.

2: We don’t have any guidelines from Croke Park. There were (guidelines) one time, and basically it had to be Irish music played in the stadium.

There were ways around that, though. The Rihanna and Calvin Harris song, We Found Love, had its video filmed in the North of Ireland, so that went down as an ‘Irish’ song, technically.

Other songs with Irish producers, or Irish members of the band, would also qualify. One Direction would qualify because Niall Horan is Irish.

3: A couple of years ago Michael Byrne, the event controller in SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, asked me to get involved: He was saying he wanted upbeat music to create an atmosphere. In the last few years Limerick and Thurles would have been playing music that wasn’t Irish in any shape or form, so we followed suit.

4: Last year for Cork-Kerry in football I was going to line up ‘Thunderstruck’ for after Kerry came out — there were about 40 seconds until the beat kicked in, so I was thinking the crowd would be building up nicely, then Cork would come out . . . it was all timed to perfection to give Cork a boost, all worked out, but of course there were no crowds at all because of Covid so it didn’t work as well.

5: Because there were no crowds we probably had a bit more leeway than usual last year. We do our own thing with the music as a result, more or less, but if there’s one place it has little enough impact it’s out in the middle of the field.

On the pitch itself, you can’t really hear anything because of the way the speakers are fitted — they’re facing into the stand.

6: The only complaints we ever get really are from stewards, that the music is too loud, but there’s more to it than that.

The speakers in the Páirc are all at the same level and we can’t change them, we’ve gone to the amp room to try to change them but we can’t.

If you’re walking up from the lower tier to the premium section of the South Stand, there are speakers in that concrete area and the noise really reverberates there, it’s very loud. It’s the same level as the speakers on the roof, but the latter don’t sound as loud because they’re so high up.

The ones down in the concrete area of the stand are very loud and stewards have to man that area for the whole day. I appreciate where they’re coming from when they say it’s too loud, absolutely.

7: One other issue is the TV studio in the North Stand because it’s an outside studio, close to the speakers, whereas the studio in the South Stand is soundproof.

That’s one reason I’m down on the sideline. There’s a connection box near the fourth official and another connection box in the control room, but you can’t hear the levels if you’re in the control room, so I have to go to the sideline to hear them.

8: We had teething problems, obviously. At the start, the music we were playing on the speakers also played in the dressing rooms.

When one particular reporter was giving out about The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams’ playing three or four times in a row one day, that was being piped into the dressing rooms as well, but that’s been fixed since.

When I’m not there Terry Brady, the IT officer, steps in and he’s very good. We work off one playlist — it’s private, you can’t look it up — and whoever is on plays the national anthem.

9: The anthem is a bit nerve-wracking because obviously you don’t want to mess that up, you want the anthem to play properly. If I’m playing everything on level 20 according to the laptop, the anthem goes up to level 50. That’s loud but the TV cameras can pick it up at least — there’s no feed directly of the anthem into the cameras.

10: The fanfare when teams come out in Croke Park, we wanted to use that so it’d be uniform across the stadia, but we couldn’t get it because Croke Park wanted to keep it unique and distinctive for the national stadium.

We thought about using the Barrack Street Band, to record them playing a fanfare and then use that for the teams coming out onto the field, but it didn’t work out in the end. In any case we sorted out a different fanfare.

11: Everything is timed to the second on match day. If a manager has his lads revved up he’ll let them out 30 or 40 seconds earlier and people don’t notice, but we’re trying to make sure the music isn’t cut off, to get the fanfare right for when the players come out, cueing up the anthem so it starts and ends just at the right time before throw-in.

In Croke Park there are cameras in the tunnel leading to the dressing rooms, so the control room lads there can see when the players are coming out.

That’s another reason we’re down on the sideline, because we don’t have that facility. We have someone with a walkie-talkie running from one end to the other to tell me when the teams are coming out so we can announce that and play the fanfare as they come out of the tunnel.

12: We don’t take requests, no. Not in SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh, anyway. The music varies from stadium to stadium — you’ll hear very old-fashioned stuff in some venues while we’d play stuff that’s recent enough.

After every Munster final, say, you’d play a song for the winning county. I’d waited a couple of years until last December for a chance to play ‘The Banks’ after Cork won a title, when they won the U20 hurling final against Tipperary.

13: A couple of years ago Kerry beat Cork in the Munster football final, so I played ‘The Rose of Tralee’ after the minor final and the senior final because Kerry won.

Some people on Twitter went bonkers over it, saying we should have played ‘The Banks’ and ran them out of it. I was back on Red FM that evening and explained the reasons why.

It’s the right thing to do, and all the stadia do the same.

14: I’ve played ‘Slievenamon’, ‘The Rose of Tralee’, ’The Banks’ — if Limerick won a title in the Páirc it would either be ‘Limerick You’re A Lady’ or ‘Garryowen’ or The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams’.

Which reminds me, we haven’t had Clare or Waterford winning a title yet in Páirc Ui Chaoimh, so I’ll have to make sure we have songs lined up for them. Tipperary, Cork, and Kerry have very recognisable songs.

15: By the way, that Cranberries song is the Limerick team song. Last year when the dressing rooms weren’t being used, the teams got ready in the concourse area so you could hear the music they were playing to get themselves ready, and Limerick were playing ‘Dreams’ before the game. And it was as loud as anything we’d play ourselves in the stadium.

16: Tipperary play ‘Right Here, Right Now’ by Fatboy Slim, another song to build fellas up. It’s a good song, but it’s a Tipperary song, and if you played that before a Cork-Tipp game in the Munster hurling championship you’d be teeing up Tipperary, even though most of the people in the stadium wouldn’t be aware of that.

Every team has their own music selection, and you could hear that, obviously, when they weren’t in the dressing rooms last year.

17: There are other ways to appeal to as many people as possible. A lot of people will know the song ‘Insomnia’ by Faithless, for instance, but there’s a remix with a Celtic feel to it, so I often include that.

The people who know the original recognise that, but the people who prefer traditional music have something they’ll like as well.

18: The mix in the crowd is something you have to be aware of. I like All Tvvins’ ‘Darkest Ocean’, for instance, but there’s some cursing in it, and you don’t want parents coming up to complain, or TV, so you have to watch out for that, too.

In fairness, people aren’t bringing their kids to a match for that.

19: Sometimes you can throw something in to see if it catches on — Peter Bjorn and John’s Young Folks is an incredibly catchy song, and I’ve played it on occasion just to see if people are whistling it later on in the day. And that’s happened a few times.

20: Overall you have to be safe, for want of a better term. As I say, it’s a very diverse crowd, when there is a crowd.

But I play as much Cork as I can — The Sultans of Ping, The Frank And Walters. It’s a Cork venue after all.

The stadium hitlist

  • We Found Love — Rihanna and Calvin Harris
  • Best Song Ever — One Direction
  • Thunderstruck — AC DC
  • Insomnia — Faithless
  • Right Here Right Now — Fatboy Slim
  • Dreams — The Cranberries
  • Slievenamon — The Wolfe Tones
  • The Rose of Tralee — Christy Moore
  • The Banks of My Own Lovely Lee — Seán O Sé
  • Limerick You’re A Lady — Paddy Reilly
  • Young Folks — Peter Bjorn and John
  • Darkest Ocean — All Tvvins
  • Where’s Me Jumper — The Sultans of Ping
  • After All — The Frank and Walters.