Wednesday 21 November 2018

‘Little heroes’ help raise thousands for sinkhole-hit GAA club

A school was evacuated and the Magheracloone GAA pitch in Co Monaghan subsided last month.

Nicholas Clarke, followed by his brother Victor, gathering a breaking ball during an under-sevens GAA charity match (Colm O’Neill/PA)
Nicholas Clarke, followed by his brother Victor, gathering a breaking ball during an under-sevens GAA charity match (Colm O’Neill/PA)

By Michael McHugh, Press Association

Thousands of euros have been raised for a GAA club left badly damaged by a mine collapse.

The Magheracloone Mitchells GAA pitch in Co Monaghan subsided last month and massive holes developed in the ground.

Children aged under seven from the club took on Ratoath GAA club from Co Meath in a charity event over the weekend. An over-35s match was also played.

Organiser Roy Clarke’s children originally put forward the idea.

He said: “This was just one club trying to hold out a hand of friendship to another club in a tough time.”

He said significant amounts of money to help the club get back on its feet had been raised following social media and mainstream media appeals.

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Tommy Farrelly of Magheracloone Mitchells flanked by Nicholas Clarke (left) and Victor Clarke (right) of Ratoath GAA (Colm O’Neill/PA)

His children Victor, seven, and Nicholas, five, took part in Saturday’s fixture.

Victor saw television footage of the damage and wrote to his Ratoath GAA club requesting the under-sevens charity match to raise money for their new club.

The sinkholes which badly damaged the ground are believed to have been caused by recent work at a nearby mine.

The clubhouse was damaged by subsidence, neighbouring houses were also affected and roads closed.

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Magheracloone Gaelic Football Club (Richard McCarthy/PA)

A school was evacuated.

Sinkholes can be caused by rainwater dissolving soft rock.

The club established a crowdfunding website following the damage and began looking for an alternative field to train on.

All their equipment was still in the clubhouse, which they could not access for safety reasons.

Magheracloone has described the two youngsters as “two little heroes”.

Press Association

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