Capacity: 2,000 (Seats 1,500)
Address: Windmill Road, Drogheda, County Louth
Telephone: (+353) 41 9830190
Pitch Size: 110 x 75 yards
Pitch Type: Grass
Club Nickname: The Drogs
Year Ground Opened: 1979
Undersoil Heating: No
Home Kit: Claret and Blue
United Park is located north of Drogheda Town Centre and is literally hemmed in by a housing estate, a GAA stadium and two roads; Windmill Road, and Cross Lane. The entrance to the ground can be found along Windmill Road, opposite the car park of the huge Our Lady of Lourdes training hospital. The football club's car park is more modest in size, and leads to the Clubhouse, which sits at the south corner of the ground. The clubhouse has a 1st floor lounge which offers the best view of the stadium. The clubhouse is flanked by a small control tower on a high level platform, sitting directly over the corner post. Just how much the ground has had to fit to its surroundings is shown by looking across the pitch to the space behind the left hand goal. There is no spectator accommodation at this South end of the ground-which backs onto the houses in Anneville Crescent. The space between the touchline and the boundary wall netting is barely wide enough to contain the modern goal nets, and you can just imagine wingers having to ease up and getting their crosses in early to avoid running into the wall.
Staying on the clubhouse side and looking to the far right along Windmill Road we see two narrow stands. The first is a covered seating area for home supporters which takes us to the pitch centre line, then following a space for the away dug outs there is a longer covered terrace which is allocated to away fans. The stand has eight steps of terracing, with a row of crush barriers on the 1st and 6th steps. The top few rows offer the most elevated view of the pitch but it comes at a price as your view is obscured by two rows of columns and the pitch side floodlight pylons. Moving further along to the far corner of the Windmill Road side again we see the restrictions of the ground site have formed a wedge shape area of terracing behind the goal which backs onto Cross Lane. Viewed from the away terrace a large advertising board on the back wall of Cross Lane prevents balls going onto the busy road. As the space expands between the goal and the far corner post a shallow open terrace offers home fans a slightly elevated view of the pitch. This leads us to the west side of the ground, beyond which the single stand and gently sloping grass banks of County Louth GAA Drogheda Park form the boundary. This side of the ground was originally a covered terrace with a low tv gantry perched on its roof, flanked by 12 rows of open terracing. With insufficient space for additional seating on the Windmill Road side,7 rows of blue plastic seats were bolted to the terrace steps in 2010 to bring the ground up to the required license minimum of 1,500 seats. This still leaves the rear 5 steps as a terrace, with a line of crush barriers on the 8th row separating the seating deck.
Although the ground is capable of holding over 5,000 in its current configuration, most of them on the West Stand terrace, modern health and safety requirements have restricted the capacity to 2,000 so it is unclear if spectators are allowed to stand on the rear terracing. One of the quirks of the ground is that only the Seated Stand on the Windmill Road side is parallel to the pitch. This is not something fans would notice when they are inside the ground, but looking at Google satellite images the control tower, clubhouse and away terrace are all angled inwards-presumably to offer the best view of the centre of the pitch.
As far as we are aware visiting fans are allocated the covered terrace on the Windmill Road side. This is accessed through the Clubhouse Car Park entrance. As the stand is situated in the corner of the ground it offers a penalty box view across pitch, and being separated from Drogheda's more vocal home supporters on the west terrace it can feel a little bit isolated. Having said that the low roof offers excellent acoustics and a away following of 200 plus can get a really good atmosphere going. Unfortunately it would appear visiting fans are not offered anywhere to sit.
There is a Social Club at the ground but this is for members only. The closest pubs are the Windmill House and Mother Hughes both on Windmill Road. Otherwise there are plenty of pubs and eating establishments in Drogheda Town centre, which is only 5-10 minute walk along Windmill Road.
From the South
Follow the M1 North from Swords, exit at Junction 9 and turn right onto the L1601 Donore Road, heading towards the south-west suburbs of Drogheda. On approaching the town centre turn right onto the R132 Georges Street, follow the road round to the right where it crosses the river. Once past the town centre, then on reaching the Mother Hughes pub turn right into Windmill Road. The ground is up on the left..
From the North
Follow the M1 South from Dundalk. At Junction 10 turn left onto the N51,then at the roundabout turn right onto the R132 and head into the north suburbs of Drogheda. On reaching the Mother Hughes pub turn right into Windmill Road. The ground is up on the left.
From the West
Follow the N51 from Slane, continue past the M1 Junction 10 then at the roundabout turn right onto the R132 and head towards Drogheda. After about a mile turn left at the Mother Hughes pub into Windmill Road. The ground is up on the left.
There is a car park at the stadium, the entrance to which is on Windmill Road. If it is full, then continue along Windmill Road to the next crossroads and turn left into Cross Lane. There is a large car park opposite the County Louth GAA Drogheda Park ground, on the right hand side.
Drogheda railway station is located around 1.5 miles away from the stadium. There is an excellent regular train from Dublin Connolly to Drogheda in the morning and afternoon as it is within the Dublin commuter belt. The commuter train service runs from Bray to the South of Dublin through to Dublin Connolly and up the coast to Drogheda, terminating at Dundalk. Drogheda is also served by the long distance Dublin Connolly to Belfast Central Enterprise Service though most, but not all services stop in Drogheda. Once you have arrived at Drogheda MacBride Station it will take you around 20 minutes to walk through the town centre to the Hunky Dory's Stadium which is located in the northern suburbs of the town.
When you come out of the railway station ticket office follow the road downhill to the right-this will lead into the town centre (there is a map of the town centre on the wall of the station car park which will prove useful) After 5 minutes walking you will see a tall church tower on the left hand side. Just past the church take a right turn at the Bull Ring and cross over the river on St Marys Bridge. This will then lead you uphill into Shop Street in the town centre, with the tourist information office in the clock tower building on the left hand side. From here turn left into West Street where you will pass St Peters Church on the right hand side. At the first major crossroads turn right into Georges Street and head uphill towards the north suburbs of the town. You will then come to a fork in the road, with most of the traffic turning left into North Street. Take the narrower right fork into Windmill Road. The ground clubhouse entrance is two minutes walk from here on the left hand side. To reach the turnstiles for the West Stand continue walking along Windmill Road then at the crossroads turn left into Cross Lane.
Seating (Windmill Road Side)
Under 12's €5.
All other areas of the ground:
Under 12's €5
Family Ticket 2 Adults + 2 Children €30
Official Programme €3
Something of a friendly rivalry with local amateur side Boyne Rovers, whose home ground is not far away in Drogheda Town centre. Dundalk is the nearest Premier Division club, with the established Dublin Premier Division clubs Bohemian, St Patricks and Shamrock Rovers, plus Shelbourne, are also considered as rivals.
Record Attendance To be advised
2017: 813 (Premier Division)
2016: 549 (Division One)
2015: 843 (Premier Division)
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Special thanks to Owen Pavey for providing the information and photos of Hunky Dory's Park Drogheda United.
Drogheda United v Bohemians
Airtricity Premier League
Saturday 25th March 2017, 5.30pm
Carl Murray (Bohemians fan)
Why were you looking forward to this game and visiting United Park?
With three out of the 12 Premier League teams to go down this year, as the size of the League is being reduced, a lot of people were expecting us to be one of the teams to be relegated. With Drogheda also expected to struggle, this match had the feeling of a relegation six pointer even at this early stage of the season.
How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?
Coming from Dublin West it was a straight run down the M1, Google Maps brought us pretty much there. Parking not really an issue.
What you did before the game pub/chippy etc, and were the home fans friendly?
We actually set off a bit late so had no time for a pre-match pint. There are a couple of service stations on the M1 if you need food. There is the Windmill House pub a bit down the road from the ground, as well as another called Mother Hughes. Both pubs looked decent.
What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of United Park?
League of Ireland teams generally struggle financially and most grounds tend to reflect that. There are exceptions of course, Cork City and (dare I say it) Shamrock Rovers ground are decent enough, by lower league standards, However this is not the case with United Park (No longer called Hunky Dory's park by the way). Like most old grounds, United Park is situated in the middle of a housing estate. When you enter on the Main Stand side on the left there is a bar which is only open to home fans. The Main Stand itself which is in a poor state and finally to the right there is the away terrace. On the opposite side of the pitch contains the West Stand which, uniquely, standing at the back and seating at the front. Neither end of the ground has spectator facilities.
Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The stewards were fine. Toilets were of the portakabin variety and had a predictable odor emanating from them. Food was basic, tea and chocolate. The balti pie hasn't reached League Of Ireland just yet. The game itself .... poor first half and looked for the most part to be petering out to a 0-0 but with 15 minutes left Dinny Byrne headed home from a corner to send the away support into raptures. Bohs didn't have too much bother holding onto for the deserved win which could provide a priceless three points.
Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
We were held back for about ten minutes which seemed a bit unnecessary given that there were about less the 2.000 people actually at the game and most of the home fans headed for the exits before the end. However we got had no bother getting away once we left.
Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Plenty to complain about facilities wise but in truth it's part and parcel of following a team in Ireland. The quality might not be great but the players are an honest lot and do seem to have a genuine connection with the fans.
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