Celtic Park (Derry)
|Páirc na gCeilteach|
|Location||Derry, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland|
|Field size||138 x 84 m|
|Public transit access||Waterside railway station|
Officially recognised as the Derry GAA's main county ground, home football games are also sometimes held in Glen or Dean McGlinchey Park, Ballinascreen, which are regarded as secondary stadia, while hurling games also on occasion take place at Lavey or Fr. McNally Park, Banagher.
As well as staging inter-county matches, it is often used for hosting Derry football and hurling games at club level. The Derry Senior Football Championship final has in recent years usually been held at the ground, most recently the 2008 final in which Ballinderry defeated Slaughtneil. The ground also hosts the Derry Intermediate Football Championship final, most recently won by Greenlough defeating Ballymaguigan in 2008, plus the Derry Junior Football Championship, most recently won by Lissan when they defeated Drum in 2008.
It was previously used for association football as the home of Derry Celtic F.C. in the Irish League from 1900–1913. Derry Celtic were the forerunner to Derry City, who had the opportunity to purchase the ground in 1933, but hesitated on a decision and the Derry County Board bought it ten years later.
The venue has been hosting Derry inter-county games since the 1930s. Over the years Dean McGilnchey Park in Ballinascreen hosted most Derry football games, but since the 1990s Celtic Park has established itself as the county's primary stadium.
Floodlights were erected over the end of 2007 / start of 2008 and were first used for the National League game between Derry and Mayo on 2 February 2008. The official unveiling of the lights was held a few weeks later during the National League tie against Tyrone on 5 April.
In the last couple of years, despite being able to hold more, the capacity had been limited to 13,000 for safety reasons. However, this wasn't set to change with the venue currently undergoing a £1.8 million revamp. Work on a new all-seater stand on the Lone Moor Road side of the ground started a few days after the 2008 Derry Championship final. It was to hold 3,600 people, bringing the total stadium capacity to 18,000 or nearly 20,000. Other new developments in the revamped stand include a control room, TV gantry, media room, stewards' room, extra exit gates, improved disabled access and improved toilet facilities. The developments will make the stadium "among the best in Ulster".
The developments wouldn't be completed until the start of the Summer (2009), therefore Derry's home 2009 National League games had to be played elsewhere, most likely Glen or Ballinascreen. The renovations were completed in time for Derry's Ulster Senior Football Championship game with Monaghan (24 May).
- "Derry GAA profile". Breakingnews.ie. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- Scott, Ronan (13 February 2009). "'Screen to win back hearts of Derry fans". Gaelic Life. p. 3.
- Chalkie (2006). "Derry City FC - A Concise History". Official Derry City F.C. website. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2008-05-24.
- "Celtic Park to light up for NFL". Official Ulster GAA Council website. 14 January 2008. Retrieved 10 December 2008.
- McCann, Chris (8 April 2008). "Bradley's sparkling seven-up sees of Tyrone". County Derry Post. pp. 94–95.
- Rodgers, Alan (10 October 2008). "Covered stand for Celtic Park". Gaelic Life. p. 9.
- Scott, Ronan (30 January 2009). "Celtic Park may miss deadline". Gaelic Life. p. 7.
- "Lights out for NFL champions?". Gaelic Life. 7 November 2008. p. 4.