Lansdowne Road – not a fashion victim

It has a dizzying effect as you look up at it before rolling your head towards the West Stand and across the city of Dublin with its settlements of cranes. Soon they will be here amongst the suburban houses, tearing down our Tokyoesque West Stand branded by the DART running underneath, a nod to a brutal city that Dublin luckily never became.


The country rightly cries out for the much needed new stage for international sport and rock and roll, and such talk tends to send shivers down our grand old lady's spine. On inspection, she maybe a little raggedy at the edges, but a welcome change from the current mode of thought on stadium, whose conceiver's seem to delight in showing off superstructures like logos on Louis Vuitton handbags.

Fine couture may have eluded the overall composition of Lansdowne Road but it is not a victim to fashion. Sitting there looking down at the garda who parades in front of the old cottages, I wonder whether the new stadium will be able to present itself as Irish to an international audience? From the images published it could be as crude as replacing Temple Bar with Liffey Valley. Will it be as generic as Grafton Street without Bewleys, assembled, like the Irish Football team, from international components claimed as our own?

Soon, unwatched by the classically embedded press box on the South Stand, will be a new spaceship, fully enclosed, perfectly ordered to itself. Working hard to appear world class, leaving the city and mountains to wonder what happens within. Gone are the honest and sophisticated farm sheds, the uneven ground that spectators huddle to, the motion of the DART cutting the match in half, and the apocalyptic toilets, all ready to be replaced by international fashion houses, demanded and needed by the New Ireland.

Janek Osmin