RUSSELL STREET – FITZGIBBON STREET – EMMET STREET
At this junction there is a very ugly derelict site which includes 543 to 553 North Circular Road, as well as 17 to 19 Russell Street. My understanding is that some parts of the site are owned by Dublin City Council who have been unable to acquire the sections that they do not already own.
Across from the derelict site is Gills Pub and they claim that their pub is the nearest to Croke park and to be honest they could be telling the truth and they also claim that it was Brendan Behan’s favourite drinking establishment but it would appear that every other pub in Dublin could make the same claim.
Croke Park is a Gaelic games stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is sometimes called Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal national stadium of Ireland and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). Since 1891 the site has been used by the GAA to host Gaelic sports, including the annual All-Ireland in Gaelic football and hurling.
A major expansion and redevelopment of the stadium ran from 1991 to 2005, raising capacity to its current 82,300 spectators. This makes Croke Park the third-largest stadium in Europe, and the largest available [not often used] for association football.
In 1984 the organisation decided to investigate ways to increase the capacity of the old stadium. The design for an 80,000 capacity stadium was completed in 1991. Gaelic sports have special requirements as they take place on a large field. A specific requirement was to ensure the spectators were not too far from the field of play. This resulted in the three-tier design from which viewing games is possible: the main concourse, a premium level incorporating hospitality facilities and an upper concourse. The premium level contains restaurants, bars and conference areas. The project was split into four phases over a 14-year period. Such was the importance of Croke Park to the GAA for hosting big games, the stadium did not close during redevelopment. During each phase different parts of the ground were redeveloped, while leaving the rest of the stadium open. Big games, including the annual All-Ireland Hurling and Football finals, were played in the stadium throughout the development.