State-of-the-art GAA facility for Glenealy
GLENEALY GAA Club has been granted permission to develop a 21-acre site into a state-of-the-art GAA complex.
The development, which is expected to cost around €4m to complete, will be done in phases with work on the first section due to begin next year.
Speaking to this newspaper about the plan the club Chairperson, Seamus O’Neill, said the planning permission, which was granted last week, has a shelf life of 10 years so the club has time to develop the project.
However, he also emphasised there is an urgent need to create a new juvenile pitch along with car parking facilities.
Once completed, the complex will include four new pitches (two adults and two juvenile), a running track, all-weather training pitch, new clubhouse and dressing rooms, pitch lighting, car parking and a reinforced concrete hurling wall.
There will also be a new handball alley in the complex.
‘We hope to start it next year and the project is still dependent on funding,’ said Mr O’Neill.
‘It will be done in phases but we’ve got planning for the entire thing,’ he added.
Mr O’Neill said the first priority will be to develop a new car park and juvenile pitch.
‘We need that new pitch now and the car park will also benefit the school,’ he said.
He added that the car park will ‘double up’ for use by the school as well as the club.
With regard to a time-frame he said it’s hoped the first phase of the complex will be completed within two to three years.
‘We have one pitch at the moment and a small clubhouse and there is a small triangle of land behind the pitch that’s really only suitable for training drills,’ said Mr O’Neill.
‘The time-frame will be dependent on money,’ he added.
‘We cannot get funding for the entire project but we’re hoping we will be able to get funding for 80 per cent of it but the remainder will be from our fundraising initiatives and it’s still a lot of money.’
The club is very appreciative of local people who rallied behind it when it purchased the land on which the new complex will be developed four years ago.
‘Everything in the plan, on the ground, will cost in the region of €4m to develop,’ said Mr O’Neill.
The site, which measures almost 21 acres, was bought from Kerry Foods in 2014. Mr O’Neill said it will provide a great facility for the community and its close proximity to the school will also prove beneficial.
‘It’s in the middle of the village, across from the school so it will be easy for the children to walk across to the pitches,’ said Mr O’Neill.
The club plans to hold various fundraising events over the coming months to help raise the additional money needed to ensure all of the project plans are completed.
A number of grant applications have also been submitted by the club to help it raise the necessary funds to get the project off the ground.
1. ENTRANCE AND EXIT 2. PEDESTRIAN CROSSING 3 & 12. 162 PARKING SPACES 4. JUVENILE PLAYING PITCH 5. HANDBALL ALLEY 6. FENCED TRAINING PITCH 7. RUNNING TRACK AND GYM 8. PLAYING PITCH 9. CLUBHOUSE 10. PLAYING PITCH 11. JUVENILE PLAYING PITCH
BELOW: The new clubhouse with changing facilities and toilets – No. 9 above.