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New guidelines on sponsorship of State-funded stadia

The Government has published a review of the process around large scale sport infrastructure funding ahead of a new round of applications later this year, including new guidance on sponsorship of stadiums that receive such funding.

The move follows some rancour over the renaming of Cork GAA's stadium to Supervalu Pairc Ui Chaoimh earlier this year.

The venue was redeveloped in 2017 with the help of €30m from the State.

Cork GAA currently has a debt of a similar amount due to the large costs the project.

Naming rights were sold to SuperValu to help alleviate some of the debt, but the move was initially negatively received.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin was among those criticising the change of name, with the Cork North Central TD saying he was "deeply disappointed and annoyed".

In an update this morning ahead of the opening of applications for new funding, it is requested that sports organisations should hold talks with "relevant stakeholders and seek their views on proposed renaming of the stadium concerned".

The new guidelines also request that the history and cultural significance of the stadium be taken into account before it is rebranded.

The family of Padraig Ó Caoimh, who the stadium is named after, revealed at the time they only learned of the renaming through the media.

The review's new guidelines read: "In relation to the naming rights of a stadium and/or large scale sports facility, any agreement must take into account whether there will be a negative effect as a result of the agreement being made.

"Prior to any agreement concerning stadium and/or large scale sports facility naming rights being finalised, the grantee should consult with relevant stakeholders and seek their views on the proposed renaming of the stadium