A site the GAA invested €2.8m in at the height of the Celtic Tiger is now being turned into a soccer academy.

 

It's understood the 103 acres of land near Athenry has been bought by the Comer Group for less than €1m - representing a loss to Galway GAA.

 

The Comer brothers Luke and Brian property developers from Glenamaddy want to turn the land at Mountain South in Athenry into a base for Galway United, which would develop footballers in the region.

 

It previously belonged to the GAA with the Galway hurling board spending €2.8m on the site in 2006 with a view to turning it into a Centre of Excellence in the long term.

 

It had borrowed to pay for the land and continued to make contributions in the form of bank interest before working out a deal with Croke Park which saw the GAA take over the loan.

 

But the development failed to materialise and late last year Galway GAA acknowledged it would have to cut its losses and sell the site for a price far below what it paid. It was bracing itself to lose around €2m on the venture.

The 'Connacht Tribune' reported the Comer Group bought Mountain South for less than €1m.

 

It plans to submit a proposal to Galway County Council which would see the construction of six soccer pitches, a gymnasium facility and 30 apartments which would be used to house the young footballers.

The estimated cost of the project has been set at €20m.

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