Connacht Rugby welcomes confirmation of Government €10m funding

06 December 2023

Connacht Rugby welcomes confirmation of Government €10m funding

Today, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton TD announced the awarding of an additional €10m for the redevelopment of The Sportsground. 

Connacht Rugby would like to express its sincere gratitude to The Government; An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar; Minister Catherine Martin; and Minister Thomas Byrne. In particular, Connacht Rugby would like to thank local Minister, Hildegarde Naughton TD, who has been hugely supportive of the project from the beginning and for her significant efforts over the past three years to secure this funding.  

In 2020, Connacht Rugby was awarded €10m from the Large-Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF). At that time, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar made a further commitment to provide €10m in additional funding to the project due to “the economic significance of The Sportsground redevelopment to the wider West of Ireland region” and today’s announcement confirms this commitment with respect to this additional funding. 

In June 2022, Connacht Rugby commenced the first phase of the redevelopment of The Sportsground which saw the construction of a new pitch system; the construction and installation of a new LED floodlighting system; and other enabling works, all of which were completed by December 2022. 

Today’s announcement will now enable Connacht Rugby to move forward with the next phase (2) of the project. 

Commenting on today’s announcement, Connacht Rugby CEO Willie Ruane said: “As far back as 2016 we announced our vision to develop “facilities that matched our ambition”. The redevelopment of The Sportsground into a fit for purpose Stadium and High-Performance Centre is the realisation of this vision, not just for everyone who has an involvement in or is a supporter of Connacht Rugby, but also for anyone who has an interest in the wider region. 

Willie Ruane added, “I want to fully acknowledge the very significant support we have received from The State for our plans and the strategic importance of the project to the wider regional economy. I would also like to once again express our sincere gratitude to An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar; Minister Catherine Martin; Minister Thomas Byrne; Minister Hildegarde Naughton; Minister Anne Rabbitte and the many others who are helping to make this project become a reality. I would also like to especially mention our Board and committee members, all of whom are volunteers and put huge time, effort and consideration into ensuring that Connacht Rugby is moving in the right direction and in the right manner.”

Connacht Rugby shall be making further announcements regarding the project in the coming weeks.