Plans to officially open the ultra-modern €16 million facility had to be put on hold following objections from the McHale Road residents to the television tower.
Other problems in relation to the new development were addressed by the county board but there were protracted negotiations between the board and the McHale Road residents before an agreement could be reached over the height of the television tower which will house television and radio personnel.
It was a long and drawn out saga over the past two years and it intensified when An Bord Pleanála upheld the decision of Castlebar Town Council to grant permission to Mayo County GAA Board for the retention of the facility.
A number of modifications ‘in the interest of orderly development and the visual amenities of the area’ were recommended.
The access stairs to the facility had to be contained within the tower from the television studio level upwards while the proposed safety railing at television camera deck level had to be made collapsible and only be used for the televising or recording of games.
The board also requested that the galvanised steel handrails proposed for the steps on either side of the tower must receive a factory applied powder coated paint finish in a colour agreed with the town council.
A total of 16 revised planning conditions had been imposed by the planning appeals board after taking 53 weeks to consider an appeal drafted on behalf of the residents of McHale Road by Peter Sweetman and Associates, Dublin.
Mayo GAA county secretary, Kevin O’Toole, who, along with county chairman Mr. Paddy McNicholas, became very involved in the negotiations when he took over from Seán Feeney, said they were delighted to welcome representatives from the McHale Road residents to the official opening on Sunday.
“I think both sides are very happy with the outcome and the development, certainly from an aesthetic point of view now looks very well,” he said.
Mr. O’Toole said the planning requirements had now been fully complied with and he paid tribute to the work of Councillor Michael Kilcoyne who acted as a intermediary during protracted negotiations.