The opening of the new National Ice Sports Arena in Dublin marks an important step in putting ice sports back on the map in Ireland. The new NHL size rink in Santry, Dublin will host learn to skate sessions, learn to play sessions as well as ice hockey teams and the national team.
It is a big step forward for Irish Ice Hockey Association who has been homeless since the Dundalk Ice Dome closed its doors in May 2010 and it is hoped the new rink will reignite the Irish ice hockey league, which had sent teams to the Continental Cup.
In the two years since the closure of the Ice Dome the IIHA has been active in promoting the sport by running pick up games at the Dundonald Ice Bowl and the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland as well as sending a team to the World Championships. That work does now seem to be paying off as bookings from ice hockey teams have already been made.
In the past there had been talk of an EIHL team in Dublin and whilst it may be some way off having a rink capable of hosting a team at least puts that idea back on the radar. For now though the IIHA is concentrating on the re-establishing the Irish Ice Hockey League.