18 May, 12:24
The news today that Ronan O'Gara's long and distinguished playing time is over, brings to a close what was by any standards, a remarkable career.
Enterprise Ireland hosted a conference in Thomond Park this week to showcase Ireland’s excellence in modern stadia construction where applications of Building Systems; Construction Services and Professional Services and Applied IT were delivered. EI Paris brought a delegation of French decision makers across to Ireland including stadia architects and engineers; construction companies; representatives from the Top 14 French rugby clubs as well as those from the French Football Federation.
Thomond Park Stadium Director, John Cantwell, noted that this was a huge boost for Thomond Park, Limerick and the industry here in Ireland. “It is a huge honour for Thomond Park to be selected to showcase how the redevelopment was completed on time and under budget. The French delegation came to see our stadium as part of their work in hosting the 2016 European Championships. France must build and renovate new and old stadia and they came here to get a bells and whistles tour of everything they have heard about in relation to Thomond Park - how we did and how we run it.”
The delegation of 15 French buyers includes among others, representatives from the construction group Vinci, the MD and Development Director of the French Rugby league and the Director of the French Football Stadia department in charge of France’s Euro Stadia. Mr Cantwell added that they were delighted to also be asked to Paris to talk to a larger group of professionals in relation to the successful project.
The aim of the conference was to promote partnerships between Irish and French companies over the next five years in the construction and renovation of Stadia. Following France’s nomination as host country for the Euro 2016 (market value €1.7 billion), and the recent announcement by the national French rugby league of a wave of stadia renovations, France will be building a minimum of four new stadia and renovating a minimum of 10 existing stadia. Over the last 10 years Irish Stadia have been in constant evolution, culminating in the launches of Thomond Park and the Aviva Stadium. As per modern day requirements Thomond Park and Irish new generation Stadia not only cater for traditional sporting occasions but also for large scale conferences and events. Thomond Park has shown its versatility to host more than just rugby matches with soccer, concerts, weddings and much more all coming to the fore.
Over the past number of years Ireland has nurtured a cluster of excellence to service the ever evolving and innovative requirements expected from this new generation of Stadia. SMEs with advanced know-how in innovative building and design techniques, energy efficient solutions and bespoke customer relationship management have grown from this experience.