“THE club has been the cornerstone of the GAA since its foundation and it is clubs such as Crinkill that fanned the flames and ensured our Association grew to be the national institution it is today,” declared GAA President Christy Cooney during the official opening of Páirc Críonchoill (Crinkill GAA Grounds) last Saturday evening.
“The strength of the GAA lies in the likes of Crinkill and its dedicated members who ensure the promotion of our games at local level. I acknowledge the commitment and courage of your club officials and their colleagues who made the key decision to undertake this development and who followed through in delivering it,” added Mr Cooney.
MC for the formal element of the proceedings was Crinkill club secretary Declan Ward and Fr David Carroll PP officially blessed the excellent new facilities. A specially commissioned plaque was unveiled and a beautiful souvenir booklet was produced for the occasion and hats off to Declan Cooke, Damien Deegan, Declan Ward, Bobby Corboy, Des O’Brien, David Corboy, Dessie Corboy and Alan Hoare for compiling this publication.
The attendance included past and present Crinkill officials, players and supporters, with Club Chairperson Des O’Brien highlighting that 2011 marked the 30th anniversary of the club and the official opening marked a significant milestone. In 1980 the late Chris O’Donoghue, Denis Parkinson and Tony Cooke organised a public meeting before the club was reformed in 1981.
Mr O’Brien heads up a progressive club committee that includes James Hogan, Tom Geraghty, Declan Cooke, Damien Deegan, Dessie Corboy, Philip Corboy, Stephen O’Leary, Brendan Hutchinson, Adrian Hoare, Robert Parkinson, Bobby Corboy, Declan Ward, David Corboy, Paddy Tully, James Grennan and Des Connole. The main sponsor of Crinkill GAA Club is ‘The Thatch’, award winning and acclaimed old world bar and restaurant.
Christy Cooney said he was delighted to attend Crinkill’s celebration and he wished the club every success in their future endeavours.
He referred with tongue-in-cheek to a photograph of Denis Parkinson and Paddy Tully on page 5 of the commemorative booklet which shows both men hard at work on Crinkill’s Barracks Field. He also referred to the hurling qualifier draw and hinted at the possibility of a Cork-Offaly tie and asked long serving Clare official Pat Fitzgerald if Clare could do better than Cork by taking the scalp of Tipperary when they meet in the Munster Championship on June 19.
Des O’Brien remarked, “I would like to pay tribute to our hard working club committee who have made this day possible. Thanks to the people of Crinkill for their continued support, thanks also to our sponsors and to everybody who supports our club lotto. We hope that these facilities will be used and enjoyed by the young people for many years to come.”
Offaly GAA Chairperson Pat Teehan commented, “The facilities provided by Crinkill GAA club are a true testament to the work and commitment by many volunteers that have been such an integral part of the club since its inception. The manner in which these facilities are maintained is a real showcase for the GAA in Offaly.”
He thanked Crinkill for making their facilities available to all Offaly teams in recent years and concluded, “I wish to congratulate Crinkill on today’s opening and take this opportunity to thank all the gaels, men, women and children of Crinkill for your devoted loyalty and self-sacrifice which keep alive the ideals of the GAA in the community. Long may it continue.”
And prior to the sliotar being thrown-in at the start of the Offaly versus Clare challenge game that followed; there was a flyover by light aircraft and four parachutists skilfully dropped from the sky and expertly landed on the centre of the pitch.