Semple Stadium Official Re-Opening and Switching on of Floodlights

The official re-opening of Semple Stadium and the switching on of the new floodlights will take place on Saturday evening February 14th prior to the Tipperary v Cork National Hurling League game. The occasion will be the first in a programme of celebrations in Tipperary to mark the founding of the GAA in Hayes Hotel 125 years ago. Earlier that day the Central Council of the GAA will hold its February meeting in the historic hotel to mark the occasion

The switching on of the new floodlights will mark the culmination of a refurbishment programme costing €18m that commenced in September 2006. The state of the art floodlighting system, designed to television broadcast standards, is suitable for both hurling and football and further enhances the status of Semple Stadium as the “Field of Legends”.

Key features of the redevelopment include complete refurbishment of both stands, construction of new player, referee, medical, public toilet, television, broadcasting, press and spectator facilities, including hot and cold food outlets. A new pitch irrigation system has been installed. A multi-purpose sports building has been constructed behind Árdán Ó Riain on land acquired from North Tipperary VEC, for use by the VEC as a sports hall during school hours and by the GAA for its purposes at other hours. Already known as “The Dome”, the facility is an ideal venue for entertainment on match days.

The occasion will be a historic one for all hurling fans who can make it to Thurles on the 14th. Under 16s will be admitted free so it’s also an opportunity for families, and juvenile and schools teams to attend. In this the 125th year of the Association, we want to prepare for the future as we celebrate our history.

The grounds where Semple Stadium exists were purchased by local gaels in 1910 and later became known as Thurles Sportsfield. In 1971 it was renamed Semple Stadium after the famed captain of the Thurles “Blues”, Tom Semple, who won All Ireland senior hurling medals in 1900, 1906 and 1908. In 1984 Semple Stadium hosted the centenary All-Ireland Senior Hurling Final between Cork and Offaly. It is long associated with thrilling encounters in the Munster hurling championship and is the GAA’s second largest stadium after Croke Park.

Events on February 14th
1. Central Council of the GAA will meet in Hayes Hotel on Saturday afternoon.
2. 18.00 Stadium opens
3. 18.30 – 18.45 Entertainment by the Thurles Gospel Choir
4. 18.45 – Ceremony to switch on floodlights. Lights will be switched on by Nickey Brennan, Úachtarán Cumann Lúthchleas Gael, accompanied by Jimmy O’Gorman, Cathaoirleach, Comhairle na Mumhan, Barry O’Brien, Chairman of Tipperary County Board; and Con Hogan, Chairman Semple Stadium Management Committee.
5. 19.00 – 19.15 Entertainment by Thurles Gospel Choir
6. 19.15 – 19-18 Tipperary and Cork teams take the field. Parade led by Sean Treacy Pipe Band
7. 19.30 – Tipperary V Cork NHL Division 1 Round 2.

For more information please contact:

Ger Ryan, PRO, Tipperary County Board
(Tel: 086 8149146, email: pro@tipperary.gaa.ie )

Con Hogan, Chairman, Semple Stadium Management Committee
(Tel: 087 2265282, email: conhogan@gaa.ie )

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