Ferns work put on hold
Lack of finance to proceed with clubhouse completion
The completion of the Ferns Centre of Excellence clubhouse has been put on hold due to a lack of finance.
The revelation was made by County G.A.A. Development Officer, Cathal Byrne, when responding to a query regarding the delay in the completion of the second floor of the clubhouse.
In October, 2015, the Ferns Centre of Excellence was officially opened by G.A.A. President, Aogán O Fearghail, in the presence of then County Chairman, Diarmuid Devereux, who later outlined plans for the financial resources to complete the clubhouse second floor.
The second floor on completion is to include a gymnasium, physio room, meeting room/utility room for players, along with a first aid area.
Also part of this phase of work is the floodlighting of a third training pitch, with two already having state of the art floodlights, while a further pitch is also available for training purposes and games.
In September, 2015, a sports grant of €200,000 was secured which is still available to the county to carry out these works, but Wexford G.A.A. have been unable to produce matching finance to draw down this grant.
Cathal Byrne explained: 'The Sports Capital grant is still available but we need to have spent the money on completion of the works in order to draw down the monies. We are working on getting the money together to commence the work.
'We have been to the bank, working on bridging finance, but there are still a couple of matters to regularise. In all such grant allocations the Minister for Sport will look for a charge over a property.'
But Byrne is adamant that no works will be carried out until the monies become available.
'We (G.A.A.) are not in a position to have builders there when we don't have the money to pay them. The County Development committee is not prepared to proceed with works with no money in the bank. We are trying to get bridging finance, but as it stands there is no money available in order to back up bridging finance.
'Without the monies being available I'm not prepared to tell lads to go in there and work and then not be able to pay them, but we hope to have it up an running as soon as possible. We have decided not to let anyone work on the clubhouse when the money is not available.
'It could be up to six months before the work is carried out. Regarding bridging finance we would be looking for over €200,000, as we would need to spend that type of money and more to secure the full grant.
'The grant allocated comes under the National and Regional Grants so no timeline is involved. Simply the two-year delay is due to the lack of finance.
'But having said all of that we hope to have the full facilities available for inter-colunty training next year,' he added.