'We felt the time is now right' - GAA club offers up free house in draw
Sign of the times?
A GAA club is set to become the first since the Celtic Tiger era to offer a free house as a prize in a draw.
Officials at St Eunan’s GAA club in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, say they hope to raise enough in the draw to help construct a new all-weather 4G floodlit pitch at the club’s O’Donnell Park home.
The three-bedroom semi-detached home is in the Rann Mór Meadow development a few minutes walk from the centre of Donegal’s biggest town.
It is valued at €155,000, is A energy rated and comes with solar panels. Other homes on the development have already been sold.
Club treasurer Niall Doherty said he believes the time was right to have a ‘House Draw’.
“We had a draw for a house in 2007 it is no secret that that the economy has suffered a crash since then,” he told Independent.ie.
“Over the last year or two there have been some signs of a recovery and most people would agree that things aren’t as bad as they were seven or eight years ago.
“However one thing has happened and it has become increasingly difficult for those that have graduated from college or managed to land their first job to get a foothold on the property ladder with mortgages proving harder to attain than in times gone by.
“With this in mind, we felt the time is now right to once again offer the opportunity for one lucky person to win the home of their dreams – a home valued at €155,000.”
The club official says selling tickets on the klubfunder.com website has also proved popular.
“We have already sold tickets in every county in Ireland and we have to thank Failte Ireland for that for marketing the Wild Atlantic Way because it appears a lot of people wouldn’t mind a holiday home up here,” said Doherty.
O’Donnell Park plays host to both inter-county games as well as many of Donegal’s underage county finals.
The club plans a €200,000 4G pitch next year using money made from the draw which has more than €25,000 in runner-up prizes.
Ciaran Haran, Draw Co-ordinator, believes that the development of the grounds in O’Donnell Park will benefit the wider Letterkenny and Donegal GAA communities.
He said: “Over the last 20 years, St. Eunan’s GAA Club has continued to develop O’Donnell Park into a top-class facility capable of hosting inter-county games as well as hosting several county finals across football, hurling and camogie.
"We are aware that this project is a massive undertaking and are calling on all the people of Letterkenny and our friends in other GAA clubs across Donegal, Ulster and Ireland to support our fundraising efforts.
“The cost to develop the area with a flood-lit 4G Astroturf pitch is approximately €200,000 and the club were awarded a €80,000 grant by Capital Sports Grant, which they much match to draw down the funds.
“This new facility will be used almost exclusively by younger members of the club to play football, hurling and camogie. The flood lights will allow them to train during the winter evenings and it’ll also be available to schools in the area.”