Richmond Park

Coordinates: 53°20′27.32″N 06°18′59.83″W / 53.3409222°N 6.3166194°W / 53.3409222; -6.3166194

Richmond Park is a football stadium in Dublin, Ireland. It is the home ground for Irish football team St. Patricks Athletic of the League of Ireland. It is situated in the Dublin suburb of Inchicore. The area where the ground now stands was formerly used as a recreational area by the British Army, who were stationed at the nearby Richmond Barracks, hence the name Richmond Park.

Ground Information

The main stand seats 1,800 people. Behind one goal, at the Inchicore end, the space was constructed into a new uncovered stand in time for the 2007 UEFA Cup campaign. This stand seats 1,000 and is known as the West (or 'New') Stand. The hardcore St. Pat's supporters have traditionally gathered at the other end, in the 'Shed End', though in more recent times the Shed has housed the away supporters while the more vocal Pat's fans have moved to the West Stand. Although known locally as the "Shed End" the official name is the John Minnock stand, as it was financed with money received from his transfer to Charlton Athletic. It is a half covered terrace. The camac terrace, across from the main stand, is used by home fans, and named after the river that runs behind it. The Camac holds the ground's TV Gantry.

History

After the creation of the Irish Free State, and therefore the removal of the British Army, the ground lay idle for 3 years before League of Ireland club Brideville began using the ground in 1925. In 1930 Brideville were forced to move to Harolds Cross Greyhound Stadium to accommodate St Patrick's Athletic moving in. St. Pats continues to use and develop the ground until 1951 when they entered the League of Ireland. The league deemed the ground unsuitable and St. Pats were forced to use a variety of grounds in Dublin as they fought to upgrade Richmond Park. In 1960, after serious development, the ground played host to St Pats first home league game in Inchicore. The ground closed for redevelopment in May 1989, however due to St Pats hitting financially difficulties they did not return until 5 December 1993.

The ground lies behind a row of terraced housing in a natural valley and is often used for Republic of Ireland underage and women's teams. It staged the League of Ireland Cup final in 1982 and 2003. It has played host to a two Leinster Senior Cup finals, as well as many junior and intermediate finals. In 2001, 2002, 2003 and part of 2004 Shamrock Rovers played their home games in Richmond Park as tenants of St. Pats. In 2005 Dublin City FC played the first 10 games of their season in the ground, under a similar arrangement. Richmond Park is usually used by non league clubs in surrounding areas when they qualify for the FAI Cup.

In 2005 the board of St. Pats spoke to their fans about a potential move to a new municipal stadium in Tallaght where they would share with Shamrock Rovers. Outraged by this the clubs fans revolted and a pressure group called 'Pats for Richmond' was set up to mobilise and organise opposition to the plan. In July 2006 St. Pats board of directors gave a clear indication of staying by purchasing local pub Richmond House (also known as McDowells) in order to give the club's fans a social base.

In recent years, St Patrick's Athletic have considered moving from Richmond Park and building a new ground at the nearby St Michael's estate

Other uses

Richmond Park hosted Ireland's first ever outdoor Rock Festival on September 4, 1970. Headlined by Mungo Jerry, the lineup also featured one of the earliest performances of then recently formed Thin Lizzy. A crowd of several thousand had been expected but in the event widespread rumours of a Garda drugs bust and poor weather kept the attendance to an estimated 800.

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