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Club raises Barr with new pitch

GOOD cheer for Naomh Fionnbarra. They are getting a new all-weather pitch and Ball Wall at their club grounds.

Work will start in February. "This has been a long time coming. It's terrific that we now have a starting date," remarks Fionnbarra chairman, Noel Paget.

"In these difficult times for so many people in our community, it's a lift that something positive is happening. It is great news," adds Noel.

The development will coincide with the construction of the new Gaelscoil building on the site. The school will have eight classrooms, plus its own entrance and play area.

And with the new GAA initiative to promote the Irish language, the combination of this club and school development project is the perfect fit.

"The new school will be seen as one of the building blocks of making the Irish language more relevant in the day-to-day lives of the people of Cabra," says principal Sean ó Donaile. "Hopefully, Cabra will become the first urban Gaeltacht in the city of Dublin."


Every door in the locality will be wide open to embrace the club's Festival Week, which begins on August 9.

This year, the festival will also see the club organise a Cabra Gathering.

This Saturday, the Fionnbarra faithful are off to A Night At The Dogs in Shelbourne Park. It's the Oaks Final Night. The bus will take people to and from the track. Finbar's were on the coach to Wexford last week to support the Dublin hurlers. They brought the sandwiches, but it was one of their own, Eamonn Dillon, that provided the golden trolley service that saved the Dubs.

"It's brilliant having a lad like Eamonn playing for Dublin," says Nicky Kehoe. "It does wonders for the club. He's a role model for the kids. He makes them all dream of playing for Dublin one day."

For decades, it was Anthony Costello who inspired the generations. The Big Gossy will always be cherished in these parts. A man who played for Dublin and who gave his all for the Bars.

His memory dances on up in the Bogies, the theatre where, like Trollier in Wexford Park, he plundered so many late, priceless goals.

So often, amid the flying timber on the edge of the square, Gossy's hand would grab the sliotar before he'd turn on a sixpence and rattle the garden gate.

Nicky says there's plenty of young talent coming through. "We have good quality mentors, which is very important. You always have to have a solid structure at juvenile level, and thankfully, things are moving nicely there."

The Tiny Tots Nursery on a Saturday morning is packing them in and one of the most encouraging things of all is the number of young mentors who are involved with teams.

Camogie is also thriving. There are five teams, two adult and three juvenile. There's many future Dubs there as well.

Naomh Fionnbarra are also hitting the jackpot off the pitch. They have brought the Club Lotto into the community. People can now play it in certain shops in the district.

And they can also enjoy the best grub in town. The club's Sunday Carvery has long got the Michelin Star. And even on the road, the Barr's make a better sandwich than Rachel Allen.