The proud Plunketts opening new chapter
Hubert Murphy reports on a special day for all at the Oliver Plunketts
Uachtarán Chumann Lútchleas Gael, John Horan has travelled to Sydney and Boston in recent weeks, then headed to Kerry last Saturday but on Sunday morning found himself guest of honour on the Slane Road in Mell for a glorious day for the Oliver Plunketts.
The weather was anything but friendly, but the head of the GAA said he was warmed by the reception he received, delivering on a promise made more than a year ago.
He attended the launch of the Plunketts 5-year plan and declared that when the expanded clubhouse was finished, he'd be back to open it.
So, at 9am on Sunday, he boarded a plane in Farrenfore and flew to Dublin and on to Drogheda to make sure he'd be there for noon.
'The founders will be looking down fondly on this day,' he stated.
The facility, featuring a new meeting room and dressing rooms, is state-of-the-art and the club is determined it will become the focal point of the community.
Fr John McAlinden blessed the new complex before Cathaoirleach Tomas O hEochaidh expressed his delight with the reaction to the clubhouse and the many people - both now and in the past - who made it happen. 'We want people to come in and participate with us,' he remarked.
He was delighted to see so many young people attending, adding that two of them, the Lambe brothers, had been selected as Louth's under 14 and 15 players during the week.
Louth Co Board chairman Des Halpenny said it was a huge day for the club and shows what can be done when community and club comes together.
The Plunketts chairman added that there was a lot of land around the Plunketts field and would make an ideal home for a county ground - if the Dundalk project fails to go ahead.
The Mell club has been on the Slane Road since 1983 and now have a meeting place to be proud of. For years, they hosted meetings in various locations, including the old nissan huts at the O'Raghallaigh's.
Prior to the event, Mayor Frank Godfrey praised the role of the Plunketts in the area and said they do great work.