GAA President Liam O’Neill was on hand in Cloghan on Sunday to perform the official opening of the spectacular new clubhouse facility at St Rynagh’s Football Club.
The impressive facility includes four dressing rooms and an impressive function area in what was described as a ‘community facility’ by Club Chairman Ray Bell.Speaking at the opening Liam O’Neill said he it was always a privilege to be asked to open new facilities because he said it meant you were with people who had a vision for the future.
He said the new clubhouse was ‘tangible evidence of the power of this club’ to provide facilities for the future.
On behalf of the other 1,660 clubs in the country, Mr O’Neill congratulated St Rynagh’s Football Club on what they had done and he thanked them for looking after the young people of the present and of the future.
He said that the decision to form separate hurling and football clubs in 1961 was visionary and he added that in times to come the decision to build the new clubhouse would be seen in the same light.
St Rynagh’s Football Club Chairman Ray Bell outlined how the clubhouse was the culmination of three years of work and planning which started with the construction of the walking track.
He noted how the old dressing room building had been constructed in 1961 and he said ‘it was about time’ the new facilities were built adding that they would be of ‘great benefit’ to future generations.
He paid tribute to committee in the club and he thanked them for their ‘exceptional work’.
The Chairman thanked all those who worked on the building and he said they all should be proud of the work they did.
He gave a special mention to all those who worked on the Community Employment Scheme and a special thanks to PJ Camon who he said did tremendous work. He also thanked the Cloghan Development Association for their help in securing funding and he urged people to get involved with ‘the tremendous group’.
Offaly County Board Chairman Pat Teehan said the new facilities were a magnificent achievement for the club and he commented on the proud tradition of Gaelic Football in Cloghan all the way back to the foundation of the GAA.
He said that he was sure that the people who had founded St Rynagh’s Football Club in 1961 would be delighted that the current custodians of the club had laid a wonderful foundation for the next generation.
Mr Teehan also paid tribute to the club for pressing ahead with the works when it would have been easier to wait given the difficult economic times in the country.
See this Tuesday’s Offaly Express for extensive photographic coverage from the official opening