Monday 18 December 2017

Cash injection welcomed in different areas

At the sod turning for new sports complex in Riverchapel were the team who welcomed news of the grant aid.
At the sod turning for new sports complex in Riverchapel were the team who welcomed news of the grant aid.

THE ALLOCATION of €40,000 to Buffers Alley GAA Club will help provide a third pitch for the growing club's activities.

THE ALLOCATION of €40,000 to Buffers Alley GAA Club will help provide a third pitch for the growing club's activities.

Aine Lacy O'Meara, who helped prepare the club's application, said that the demands for pitch space in the Monamolin club are 'huge'.

'The decision was taken that we need a third pitch,' she said. 'We will have to put matching funding towards the work ourselves, and we will be fundraising for that.'

The new pitch will run parallel to the existing second pitch, on land the club already owns.

The club has already invested heavily in facilities at the grounds, including a new indoor arena with a clubhouse and bar, with dressing rooms. One of the pitches is also floodlit with a walking track, and the addition of the third pitch will complete the development works at the club.

'We have three adult men's teams, and two adult camogie teams, and teams from U-6 up to U-21,' said Aine. 'The pitches are in huge demand both for training and for matches.'

'The pressure on space makes it very difficult for those involved in scheduling training and games to ensure there is availability,' she added. 'We have been working in constrained circumstances for the last couple of years, and hopefully this will ease the pressure.'

She said that the committee has already met to put a plan in place for the work and they hope to get started as soon as possible. 'It will be a huge boost for the club,' she said. 'It's badly needed.'

The allocation of the grant will help in the celebrations this weekend, as the club holds its annual Shedfest on Saturday, July 12. The barbeque is the club's main fundraiser each year to help support the running costs.


WORK is set to start on the new Riverchapel Courtown Community Complex in the coming days, following the confirmation last week of a €120,000 Sports Capital Grant for the project.

The €800,000 development in Riverchapel will include a full sized GAA pitch, a full sized soccer pitch, a BMX track designed to international standards, a walking track with lighting, and an access roadway and a car park.

The project is being also funded with the help of a €150,000 grant from Wexford Local Development; as well as more than €34,000 which was raised by local community groups through a fundraising draw; with Wexford County Council expected to contribute close to half a million euro for the project.

Cllr. Robert Ireton said the project is badly needed in the area, and added that the Sports Capital Grant is very welcome. 'This money means that the project can now start,' he said. He added that he has given €1,000 for several years to the project from the Council's discretionary grant.

The sod was turned on the site by Minister Brendan Howlin in May, during the local election campaign. However, work has not yet started, but Cllr. Ireton is confident the work will begin in the coming week.

The project is being backed by Courtown Community Council and various local sports clubs.

Work was to start on the facility early last year, but the plans were rethought to provide a better design and more complete facilities for the same money. It's hoped the project will provide a much needed social outlet in the heart of Riverchapel village. The Realt na Mara Ballygarrett GAA pitch is based in Ballygarrett, while the Courtown Hibs pitch is based out the Ounavarra Road. Riverchapel village has seen an explosion of housing developments in the past decade, but local leisure facilities have been few and far between.

Elsewhere in the Courtown area, Réalt na Mara Boxing Club in Courtown received €16,000 to kit out the clubhouse at the old Courtown Tourist Office.

'This is brilliant news. We'll be able to get new balls, new speedbags, new gloves, and generally do up the building, including putting in new flooring,' said head coach Declan Newens. 'We badly needed this and it's very welcome. We're a fledgling club and started from scratch.' The club is still in its first season, and currently has around 35 boxers who train regularly.

Tara Rock Community Field Trust

IT'S BEEN an uphill battle for the players in the Rock, Gorey, but thanks to a €50,000 Sports Capital grant, they soon should have a level playing field.

'There's 25ft to 30 of a slope on our field, which was great for endurance training' smiled Brian McDonald, one of those behind the Tara Rock Community Field Trust. 'It's brilliant for a small area like ourselves to get such a substantial grant.'

The local GAA club has had the use of the field for more than a decade, thanks to a very generous and obliging landowner, and the Community Field Trust finally signed the deal to purchase the field several months ago.

This means it can now be levelled off and developed for community use. 'We have matching funding available for this work,' said Brian. 'We will level it off for two playing fields, as well as car parking facilities, and a walking track and street lighting.'

'We've been fighting to get our own grounds for years,' he added. 'Until you have your own place, you aren't eligible for funding.'

The club organised a major car draw in 2012, and received overwhelming support on doorsteps across the county. This helped towards the cost of buying the field, and a long term loan helped pay the balance and also helped provide matching funding for the initial work.

A Strictly Come Dancing fundraiser this year will be aimed at funding dressing rooms and toilets. 'We are 20 years behind where any club should be,' said Brian. 'We have a portacabin for changing in; no showers; and one toilet. This is all a huge community effort, and everyone is now delighted to get this grant. There's been a real buzz about the place since we got the news.'

Gorey Guardian

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