Centre of Excellence moving forward

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Centre of Excellence moving forward
Club Tir Conaill gave their latest update on the Centre of Excellence development in Convoy in Letterkenny on Thursday night.

Club Tir Conaill gave their latest update on the Centre of Excellence development in Convoy in Letterkenny on Thursday night.

The site was purchased in 2008 for €1.393 million and phase one, which encompasses site drainage, earth works, planning requirements and development of two sand carpet pitches, is completed.

“We have two quality pitches there now,” said Michael McMenamin, Donegal GAA’s logistics officer.

“The two pitches have already been developed and are to be floodlit. We are looking now to develop two more pitches and a clubhouse and at some stage are hopeful of putting in a fifth pitch.”

Phase one cost €631,000, with the contractor paid €613,000 and €18,000 in professional fees to be paid later in the year.

“Lack of changing facilties is the drawback,” McMenamin added. “It will take time to get planning permission, tender and appoint contractor.

“Right now, we have two portacabins, a toilet unit and a shower unit on site now.”#

The original €750,000 loan from Bank of Ireland is down to €520,000. Its being paid by the clubs. There is also a Croke Park loan of €240,000.

Other necessary work will include installation of floodlighting by October (€335,000), pitches three and four (€220,000), pitch and perimeter fencing (€100,000) and clubhouse (€650,000) by next August.

A stand is a requirement from Croke Park and €50,000 is needed to continue footpath and lighting to Convoy.

“We have Club Tir Chonaill funds on hand of €220,000,” McMenamin said. “It was a brilliant achievement to get that in a short space of time. So the shortfall of €203,000 - that’s what have to raise to get to the €1.418 million.”

Club Tir Conaill chairman Cieran Kelly said: “Donegal GAA needs a home. The GAA has moved on in the last couple of years, but maybe our facilities haven’t moved on as much as we’d have liked.

“We’ve raised €105,000 so far - our target is €203,000. We want to give the young guys and girls the best facilities. We’ll take contributions of any size - whether it’s a fiver or €500.”

Newly elected Donegal Mayor Cllr Ian McGarvey said: “I was a soccer player, but I envied the Gaelic players because they always had a sound structure that did them in good stead over the years.

“The All-Ireland win last year showed people what can be achieved through hard work.”