Saturday 16 December 2017

GAA team forced to demolish new €1.2m clubhouse

Olivia Kelleher

A GAA clubhouse that cost €1.2m to build has been demolished and must be rebuilt after difficulties with subsidence.

The Ballingeary Gaelic Football clubhouse, in west Cork, is just three years old but members were left with little choice but to tear it to the ground and reconstruct it.

Donal O Laoire, treasurer at the club, said the clubhouse was officially opened in 2007 following a major fundraising initiative in the local community. However, just one year later cracks started to appear on the building.

The construction of the clubhouse was paid for with €1m in Department of the Gaeltacht funding together with €232,000 raised by the club.

But, after a series of meetings, a consultant engineer eventually advised them that the building should be demolished because of subsidence.

Ballingeary, which has produced such stalwarts as John O'Driscoll, who was a member of the Cork senior inter-county team in the 1980s and 1990s, opened the new facility to mark the club's 50th anniversary.

Last night, Mr O Laoire told the Irish Independent of the heartbreak felt by the local community at the loss of a much-loved and important building.

"It was very upsetting, an absolute heartbreaker," he said. "We are in temporary accommodation at the moment in Ballingeary but we expect the building to be rebuilt by January/February 2011. We fundraised for years to build it.

"It is a big disappointment for the community because the whole community rallied around the GAA club at that time to raise the money. In 2008 we noticed there were cracks appearing in it but over time those cracks got bigger. At the end of the day the advice of the consulting engineer was that it be knocked."

Ballingeary is one of the most respected GAA clubs in Co Cork. The club is a member of Cork GAA and the Muskerry divisional board.

The club has enjoyed enormous success over the years. In 2006 Ballingeary won the Cork Intermediate Football Championship.

Irish Independent

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