Wednesday 16 October 2019

Clones Town insist they have 'no appetite' to rename John Delaney Park


John Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile
John Delaney. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Ulster club Clones Town maintain there is "no appetite" to change the name of their club grounds, John Delaney Park, in the wake of the formal exit of the former CEO from the FAI.

The Co Monaghan facility, which opened in 2009, was renamed John Delaney Park at a function, which the then CEO attended, in August 2013. Club officials insisted he did not request that the ground be called after him and the approach came from them. Club secretary Seamie Sewell says the matter could be discussed by club officers next week but he did not expect calls for Delaney's name to be removed from the facility. "There is no appetite to change it at the minute," Sewell said.

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"We have a committee meeting next week and it probably will be discussed then but I don't think it will be changed. The name was put on it before we came on board, it was the previous committee who did that. No one ever mentions the name. We have a great facility up there and we are just happy to have it and John Delaney did put a lot of work into it. We just get on with it.

"There are no negative feelings that I have heard. We have the best soccer facility in county Monaghan, we are opening new dressing rooms and it's all positive," he added.

Delaney helped turn the sod on the facility in July 2009. In 2010, Delaney and then Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni attended a black-tie function to celebrate the club's 125th anniversary.

The decision to name the ground in his honour was revealed in a Sky Sports documentary about Delaney's working day in March 2013 and in August 2013 he attended a ceremony to name the ground John Delaney Park. Four months later, Clones Town were revealed by the FAI as one of six "strategically important football projects across Ireland" to benefit from €1.2million in state funding.

On RTÉ's 'Liveline' in March, after Delaney stepped down as FAI CEO, club official Frankie Reavey defended the decision to call the ground after Delaney, saying "he got us funding" and claimed he was "honoured" with the naming rights.

Reavey later told Northern Sound radio: "For once, a wee town like Clones got something and I personally will be forever grateful to John Delaney for getting it over the line for us."

Irish Independent

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