|Páirc an Phiarsaigh|
|Location||Dr Mannix Road, Salthill, Galway, Ireland|
|Owner||Gaelic Athletic Association|
|Field size||145 x 90 m|
|Public transit access||Galway railway station|
Pearse Stadium (Irish: Páirc an Phiarsaigh) is the principal GAA stadium, in County Galway, Ireland. The stadium opened on June 16, 1957, as 16,000 people came to watch Galway beat Tipperary in hurling, and Kerry in football, and to watch Bishop Michael Browne bless the facility.
The stadium was opened by GAA President, Séamus McFerran. Among those invited were the 12 surviving members of the 1923 all-Ireland winning hurling team.
The area on which the stadium was built was known locally as The Boggers. The 17-acre (69,000 m2) site was offered to the Gaelic Athletic Association by the town secretary Sean Gillan, and terms of purchase were negotiated. Much of the land was very wet and boggy. Work was being carried out to deepen the River Corrib at the time, so the infill from the river was used to fill in parts of the pitch and give it an elevated sideline.
Pearse Stadium has hosted many hurling and football matches since, but it fell into disuse in the early 1990s. The Stadium was renovated in 2002 and reopened in May 2003 with a capacity then set at 34,000. Since the major redevelopment of the ground, it has regularly hosted the Connacht Senior Football Championship final in recent years.
The Stadium occasionally receives negative publicity due to the lack of dedicated off-street parking. In response to repeated representations made by local residents as well as community groups campaigning on pedestrian rights and road safety issues, the Garda Siochana handed out large numbers of parking tickets on at least two occasions in October 2010. Some GAA fans saw this as harsh, and one disgruntled supporter even described the Fixed Charge Penalties issued to illegally parked vehicles as a "blatant attack" on the GAA itself However, both the GAA County Board and the Garda Siochana were adamant that they had issued repeated warnings in advance and insisted that illegally parked vehicles were ticketed after these warnings were ignored.
A nationwide health and safety survey of GAA grounds in 2011 resulted in the certified capacity of the stadium being reduced to 26,197.
- Galway City Tribune, "Parking tickets 'an anti-GAA vendetta'", Letters to the Editor, October 22nd.
- Parking fines spark outrage in Galway. Irish Examiner, 2nd November 2010. http://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/parking-fines-spark-outrage-in-galway-135200.html
- Pearse Stadium unofficial blog