THE Newtownbutler-based sports development company, Prunty Contracts is currently laying the playing surface at the west London GAA grounds at Ruslip.
The contract is part of an ambitious £4.17m development by the London County Board GAA to make Ruislip the premier county ground in the capital.
It had been operating two county standard grounds, at Ruislip and at New Eltham in the south east. But, they have sold New Eltham and direct the subsequent £5.5m windfall towards the redevelopment of Rusilip.
The original plans had allowed for a 2,330 seater stand and a gym underneath, have had to be scaled down to come within budget, but, a state-of-the-art playing surface remains top of the priority list.
Donal Corbett, from the Ruislip Development Committee, said the new pitch would ‘rival any (pitch) in England or in Ireland, and he acknowledged the expert advice given by Joseph Prunty, the managing director of Prunty Contracts.
“We were getting to the stage where the pitch was not fit for purpose. If you ask any player here, Ruislip was great to play on in the spring or autumn but, come winter, the ground was so hard the players would be coming off with burns.”
He went on: “When we did the pitch analysis for the developers, they couldn’t believe that it was being used so much, so the new pitch will have roughly 25 per cent less matches on it.”
The new-look Rusilip will sport a completely redeveloped drained pitch, with provision for irrigation through the use of rainwater harvesting via attenuation tanks.
The new ground will be completely enclosed and it will have a seated stand for 1,950, with 750 covered seats.
London play in Division 4 of the National Football League. Among their more famous scalps are Fermanagh and Mayo. Due to Ruislip now out of commission, they will play all their 2017 league games away but, with Croke Park approval, all of their 2018 games at home.
One notable exception is next year’s Connacht championship when, on May 14, London will begin their bid for ‘Sam,’ at home.
Meanwhile, Joseph Prunty said he expected to have laid the pitch next month.
“We are delighted to been trusted with this prestigious contract. In fact, we’re proud to be involved in what will now be the capital home of the GAA in the UK.”