With a few hours to spare ahead of my game this evening, I went along to Dalymount Park, home of Bohemians, to see what I could see of a historic ground that I had really wanted to visit, one that historically was the home of Irish football. To my good fortune, the ground was open as there was a junior cup final being played between Limerick and Carrigaline. I only saw the last few minutes though, which saw Limerick get an equaliser after an awful mix up between defender and keeper and then won the penalty shoot out.
Dalymount Park was a really fascinating ground to witness. In the distant past,it has hosted many big matches, regularly hosting full Ireland internationals before Lansdowne Road became the permanent home for Ireland matches, but much of it has little development in recent years and only two sides of the ground are in use now. A modern, uninteresting all seater stand runs along one length of the pitch, whilst behind one of the goals, seats have been bolted onto a former terrace, with a stand covering the area between the goal and far corner flag. Behind the other goal is a large crumbling open terrace which is no longer in use - it was sold off some years ago and is pending redevelopment. From the corner of the terrace round to about the half way line is a rather tall and imposing open stand with seats bolted on part of it, but health and safety has condemned to it being put out of use a couple of years ago. This stand used to continue through to the other corner, but half of it was demolished to create space for a surface car park.
In some ways it was a little sad to see a grand old stadium in such poor, crumbling condition, but in the main it was great to see such an old fashioned stadium, a real dying breed these days.