AN IRISH GAA County Board have said they are in the 'early stage' of discussions with the Ministry of Defence to lease a former Army barracks as a new training centre.
Down GAA said at a meeting with the County Committee last night, August 3, that approval for advanced negations with the MOD was secured.
If negotiations go ahead, Down will propose a lease of the former site of Abercorn Barracks in Ballykinler for the County Centre of Excellence.
The Abercorn Barracks have been in Ballykinler since 1901 and was a former internment camp during the War of Independence in 1919.
In November 2016, the Ministry of Defence announced they would sell off the site by 2018.
In a statement on their website, Down GAA said: "The early stage discussions between officials of Down GAA and MoD personnel have focused on the potential lease and development of part of the Abercorn Barracks site at Ballykinlar into a multi-purpose GAA complex.
"All parties are working towards bringing this exciting plan to fruition.
"Ballykinlar has a vibrant GAA community and the local club facility had been a training base for Down senior teams for a number of years.
"If approved and progressed, the Ballykinlar Project will form an important part of a new Vision 2020 strategy for the county.
"While a new complex will cater for the training and administrative needs of Down teams in all Gaelic Games codes, it will also be a significant resource for the Ballykinlar club and the local communities."
In a statement, the Ministry of Defence said: "We can confirm that the MoD is in discussion with the Co Down GAA in relation to a proposed centre of excellence in the Ballykinlar area."