Connacht GAA says Airdome not available to house Ukranian refugees

The GAA’s Connacht Council has turned down an official request to use the Connacht Airdome for emergency accommodation for Ukranian refugees.

The Business Post reports that Mayo County Council made two approaches to Connacht GAA asking to use the facility.

However, the request was turned down on the grounds that the airdome was fully booked.

The 15,000 square-metre facility, situated at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan near Ballyhaunis in Co Mayo, is currently being used by GAA clubs and units for training.

John Prenty, Secretary of Connacht Council said: “It’s not that we’re saying no, it’s just that we haven’t the ability to make it available.

“We are booked out solid for the next 12 months.”

Connacht GAA is also concerned that 26-metre high airdome, which is kept inflated with pressurised air, is not a suitable location for refugees.

The Government has approached the country’s main sporting bodies, the GAA, the FAI and the IRFU in recent weeks to seek further help accommodating the recent influx of refugees to Ireland.

The talks with the GAA included the prospect of using Croke Park’s National Handball Stadium and Pairc Uí Chaoimh in Cork for temporary housing.

However, Croke Park has said that the availability of GAA facilities over the coming months is likely to be extremely limited because of the current demands placed on them by the start of the club championship season.