Bord na Móna and Offaly GAA have today announced a ten year partnership naming agreement for the newly named Bord na Móna O’Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Confirmation comes in the wake of weeks of speculation about the deal and a meeting of Tullamore GAA which paved the way for the partnership.
Bord na Móna, a significant employer in Offaly and right across the midlands with in excess of 2,100 staff, has a long history with the GAA and in particular the people of Offaly. "This deal will further enhance the links between both organisations and provides ongoing support and investment for the future of Offaly GAA," a spokesperson said.
In what is a significant development for Bord na Móna, CEO Mike Quinn said; “Bord na Móna O’Connor Park is the latest initiative by Bord na Móna to further cement our links with the people of Offaly and Offaly GAA. We have a long and distinguished history in delivering for these communities down through the years and we will continue to do so into the future."
"Bord na Móna has always been the dominant employer in this region, which in no small part led to on field success of Offaly teams in capturing Sam Maguire and Liam McCarthy in the 70s, 80s and 90s. All of the teams had real and tangible links to Bord na Móna. The naming agreement for Bord na Móna O’Connor Park is the latest chapter in the rich and illustrious history of both organisations," he added.
Commenting at the launch of the naming agreement in Bord na Móna O’Connor Park today, Offaly County Board Chairman, Tommy Byrne, said; “This is a very natural fit for both organisations. Everybody across the county knows the value Bord na Móna has brought to the people of Offaly down through the years. This naming agreement demonstrates real confidence by them in the entire Offaly GAA structure and we are delighted to have them come on board with us in what is a very positive step for all concerned.”
Bord na Móna employee and All Ireland winner with Offaly in 1982, Pat Fitzgerald, said; “This is a great day for both Bord na Móna and the Offaly GAA community. Whilst we can talk for hours upon end on the role played by Bord na Móna in the successes of Offaly GAA down through the years, today is all about the future for Offaly GAA. I look forward to seeing successful Offaly teams in football, hurling, ladies football and camogie grace Bord na Móna O’Connor park for years to come.”
A host of Offaly GAA legends, past and present, were in attendance at today's announcement, including Matt Connor, Jim Troy, Pat Fitzgerald, Johnny Dooley, Johnny Flaherty, Kevin Martin, Sean Ryan, Laim Langton, Tom Carroll, Diarmuid Shortt, Stephen Darby, Finbar Cullen, Sean Lowry.
The first major county games to take place in the newly named Bord na Móna O’Connor Park are scheduled for this Sunday, June 11, when the senior ladies footballers play Longford and the senior men take on Westmeath in the Leinster Senior Football quarter-final.
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