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30 Nov 2021

O'Connor Park in the running for major pitch award

O'Connor Park in the running for major pitch award

Pictured at the pitch inspection were Michael Duignan, Greg Whatley, Jim Kelly, Michael Hensey, Stuart Wilson and Dr Stephen Baker.

O'CONNOR Park in Tullamore is in the frame for a prestigious pitch award. The county ground in Offaly is one of just five shortlisted for recognition as the best GAA pitch in Ireland, outside of Croke Park.

The other contenders are Walsh Park in Waterford, Pairc Ui Caoimh in Cork, Pairc Tealteann in Navan and Kilkenny's Nowlan Park.

It is a great achievement for O'Connor Park to be shortlisted for this award and the ground was given an extensive examination recently by the expert judging panel.

The awards scheme is ran by the GAA, who examine all aspects of the pitch maintenance. The ground maintenance is overseen by head groundsman at O'Connor Park, Jim Kelly along with helpers and the quality of the O'Connor Park pitch has won widespread praise throughout the country.

The awards scheme is part of a wider initiative set up by the National Pitch Work Group to improve the standards of playing surfaces around the country and to share some of the expertise and experience used at Croke Park.

Pictured above at the pitch inspection of  O’Connor Park as it is featured as one of the last five pitches in the running for pitch of the year L. - R. Michael Duignan, Chairman Offaly County Board with Greg Whately, STRI Senior Project Manager, Jim Kelly, Head Groundsman Bord na Mona O’Connor Park, Michael Hensey, Assistant Head Groundsman, Stuart Wilson Pitch Manager Croke Park Stadium and Dr. Stephen Baker, Head of Sports Surface Technology STRI.

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