Offaly GAA club in bid to raise €200,000


Fr Brendan O'Sullivan P.P. and Eamonn Larkin, Ballycumber GAA club PRO at the launch of the planned Activity Centre. Pic: Gerry Kelly

A PLANNING application for an ambitious new Activity Centre will be submitted in the coming weeks by Ballycumber GAA Club.

The new centre, measuring 48 metres by 18 metres, will provide covered accommodation for a wide range of sports and social gatherings.

A fund-raising drive for the project, on which construction in hoped to commence in 2022, was launched by the Chairman of Offaly GAA County Board, Michael Duignan on Thursday evening last.

Speaking before young and old members of the club gathered on the GAA pitch, Mr Duignan praised Ballycumber for its ambition and said he had no doubt it would hit its fundraising targets.

The outdoor launch was held in compliance with Covid restrictions and social distancing and other measures were observed by the large attendance.

The launch was attended by members of St Manchan's Ladies Club, Brosna Gaels, St Manchan Gaels, Ballycumber GAA, the local Foroige club, Tidy Towns, the local development committee and representatives of Boher N.S. as well as members of the wider community.

Vinny Minnock, club chairman, said the new Activity Centre was needed to keep up with the demand placed on the club by its growing membership.

He said that Ballycumber had a great tradition of facilities being developed.

“In the early 80s the community centre was built and the pitch opened. In 2004 the walking track was built., In 2009 the club room was constructed. In 2019 we invested in a scoreboard and a new mower or the pitch and school. This year we built a biodiversity are at the back of the goal at Lynams' end.”

He said a major fund-raising drive will be needed to finance the planned new Activity Centre.

“On September 11 we will be doing a run/ walk from Croke Park to Ballycumber along the Grand Canal Greeenway to raise funds,” said Mr Minnock.

At present about 100 participants are lined up for the walk/ run which will be done in relays with people not expected to complete the entire course.

It is hoped that the number of participants will increase to 150 and Mr Minnock encouraged the attendance to “tap into their friends, relations and work colleagues for sponsorship.”

Parish priest, Fr Brendan O'Sullivan also lauded the planned development and stressed “the project is something which is very achievable and very worthwhile.”

He praised the GAA club committee for their vision.

Club PRO, Eamon Larkin, speaking to the Tribune before the official proceedings, said as well as GAA activities the new centre will cater for the needs of the wider community by facilitating classes such as pilates and yoga.

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