CROKE Park spent over €100,000 on a massive clean-up operation in July after the Hogan stand and several other areas, including the players' changing rooms, were flooded by raw sewage from faulty council drains.
It is the second such incident in two years. The first – in August 2008 – cost tens of thousands of euro to resolve.
After last July's overflows, raw sewage rushed into the stadium's IT network, offices, lifts, warm-up area, media area, dressing rooms and players' lounge, as well as the flash camera area where TV interviews are conducted.
Peter McKenna, stadium director, told the Sunday Tribune that the clean-up operation was extensive, particularly at an extremely busy time of the year.
"It's not only the smell; the potential of diseases from raw sewage floating around and the cleaning that we have to put in is quite extensive," he said. "And the amount of carpet that had to be dumped cost massive, massive amounts. You are talking about an extensive disinfectant process as well.
"We are absolutely certain that the drainage from Croke Park is not affecting the drainage in the area and we had that confirmed from city council engineers when it was built."
According to Croke Park officials, the financial aspect of the problem is now being worked out between its insurers and Dublin City Council.
However, a spokesman for the council said it was not aware of any such discussions. While the council was aware of flooding at the ground last year, the spokesman denied any knowledge of incidents last July.
"Both ourselves and a number of residents in the area have been flooded by the drains that don't work properly at a time of year when you wouldn't expect it," said McKenna.
"We have brought it up with the area manager and it has been raised in meetings with residential groups. All parties agree that it is not due to Croke Park, it is due to existing infrastructure needing to be addressed."
The problem is not only affecting Croke Park. Households in the surrounding area have also been hit hard by the poor drainage.
Local independent councillor Marie Metcalfe has asked the city manager to address the sewage problem in the area.
"People's furniture is being destroyed; as soon as the sewage water goes into your place that's it, it's destroyed," she said. "And when it's the elderly, they panic. Who is going to go in and move furniture for them and replace it? The anxiety is devastating."
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