Inishowen meet Derry City on using Maginn Park

Soccer

Derry City have met the Inishowen League on the possible use of Maginn Park when renovation work is taking place at the Brandywell.

Following the release of the programme of works by the council, Derry will need an  alternative venue for their final six home games of the 2016 season.

Both parties met at Maginn Park this weekend to cast an eye over the Buncrana venue and talk about issues that may arise if an agreement is come to.

Some upgrade works at Maginn would be needed to bring the ground up to the required FAI standard.

Work at Brandywell will start in July.

The Inishowen League confirmed their meeting with Derry City in a statement released on Saturday.

The Inishowen Football League met with members of the Derry City Board led by Chairman Philip O’Doherty in Maginn Park last Friday to discuss the possibility of Derry City staging some Airtricity league and FAI cup games at Maginn Park while the re development of the Brandywell is being completed. Mr O Doherty began the meeting saying that despite intense media speculation Derry City were not in a position to approach the Inishowen League until such time as they had received the programme of works . That programme had been received  from Derry & Strabane Councils just last week and at that time Mr O Doherty then approached the Inishowen League to have an exploratory meeting.

At the meeting Mr O’Doherty revealed that Derry City would need to be out of the Brandywell in August/September/ October 2016 to facilitate the completion of the works and that they were looking into the possibility of hosting six Airtricity league games plus possible FAI cup games at an alternative venue. The Airtricity league have asked Derry City to come up with some alternative venues and Maginn Park has emerged as one possible alternative.

League Chairman Laurence McColgan then gave the group a tour of the facility explaining that the ground had hosted an EA Sports cup game between Cockhill Celtic and Sligo Rovers in the recent past. Both sides however did recognise that each had a lot of work to do before it can become a reality. In Derry City’s case while they would be in a position to supply  Medical crew and Ambulance for games they would also be in a position to supply their own stewards ( who are fully trained and accredited by the FAI) but they will have to liaise with the local Garda Superintendent while also seeking approval from the FAI Club Licensing System to stage the games at Maginn Park. They would however be  hopeful that under a temporary arrangement things may not be as stringent as they normally are.

While the playing surface and the floodlights themselves present little problems for the Inishowen League there are a host of improvements that would need to be carried out to satisfy even the minimum  requirements of the club licensing system. These would include lighting in the main stand, the erection of emergency lighting at (exits, toilets and in the Stand) the provision of portable toilets, the segregation of visiting supporters, general groundwork improvements and the possibility of having an emergency generator on standby. The problem is that it will take  a substantial amount of money to carry out all the upgrading. One other problem which will have to be considered is the  parking facilities  and the disruption which this would cause to the local area in the specified timeframe.

However it is unlikely that any of the above would prove to be unsurmountable but the avenues of communication between the league and Derry will remain open in the coming weeks. Ultimately the Airtricity League will have the final say on whether the ground will be passed  or not provided that Derry and the Inishowen League can come to an amicable agreement.