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TOBIN partners with the GAA for Connacht Centre of Excellence.

To paraphrase one of the most decorated and indeed controversial GAA figures of recent years, Paul Galvin, the vast majority of inter county participants no longer see themselves as strictly ‘amateurs’ in today’s national games. In the Kerry man’s opinion, this term ‘amateur’ could be deemed an insult to the intensive level of participation these hurling and football athletes afford to their respective codes. Galvin’s synopsis, divisive as it may be in many quarters, is evidently reflective of a new area in our games in which strength and conditioning are now more important than ever. This is something that even the most traditional of voices cannot shy away from.

With this new area, we have seen new approaches to Gaelic games in terms of training and development – with these new approaches there is a requirement for new facilities. TOBIN Consulting Engineers have been instrumental in delivering this new and emerging specialist field, working hand-in-hand with both county and provincial boards. Our strong relationship with the GAA to date takes a special place in our Sports Facility workload throughout all divisions within the company.

TOBIN Consulting Engineers were delighted to come on board with the Connacht GAA Council in recent years to design a new Centre of Excellence to service the region from a base in Bekan, strategically positioned at the province’s centre point in Co. Mayo. Working closely with the Council members, TOBIN were able to push the boundaries on innovative design concepts while at the same time retaining the 114 years of Connacht Council tradition in terms of their vision for our national games.

The TOBIN team set about designing all-weather natural grass pitches, a synthetic pitch, running track, clubhouse, indoor training facility, terrace, stand, handball courts, hurling walls and car parking for the entire facility. The opening games of the 2012 FBD League marked a watershed moment for the centre and for the province. From the moment the first whistle was blown, there was a palpable feeling amongst the large attendance that this centre’s opening served as a real and tangible commitment by the GAA to the province and its five counties. At the opening, Secretary of the Connacht Council, John Prenty spoke passionately about how ‘the facilities will be used by development squads, schools’ football and club games well into the future’ adding that ‘the people of the province will be the big winners in this forward-thinking, ground-breaking venture’. The standard of the design and the subsequent completion of playing surfaces has been a huge and welcomed injection into the Connacht sports facilities structure. TOBIN, for our part, were proud to deliver another landmark project within our GAA portfolio. We continue to work at both a local and national level for the GAA to further enhance the lives for thousands of enthusiasts spanning all grades and codes throughout Ireland and further afield.

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