This site appeared to be a major conflict zone, in which two sports clubs -soccer club Shamrock Rovers and the local Gaelic football club Thomas Davis-, and the community and South Dublin County Council were the main players. The construction of the stadium started in October 2000, but had been delayed due to financial problems and legal disputes between the two clubs. Finally, the first soccer game in the finished stadium took place in spring 2009.
In general, history is usually very quickly erased from the memory of communities in areas were new urban developments are taking place. The controversial history over the use of this stadium created a focus on a public space of shared interest:
Public Arena is a tryptic using three distinct mediums, which explores, animates and celebrates the socio-political journey of Tallaght Stadium.
- Public Arena, a video film (33 min.), made in collaboration with students of Tallaght Community School. The script for this work was compiled from verbatim interviews with people from all sides of the negotiations of the Tallaght Stadium initiative. The video work is accompanied by a publication with the script for the work, designed by David Bennewith.
- a neon public art work based on the Thomas Davis club motto: Nascann Dáshlán Daoine (Challenge Unites People)
- a live event and photo shoot with an enormous 8 meter big ball in Tallaght Stadium.
Public Arena was commissioned by South Dublin County Council's In Context 3 public arts programme.
publication Public Arena, designed by David Bennewith, one of the Best Designed Books 2009