GAA club doing a community service
GAA clubs up and down the country fundraise to provide the best facilities possible for their local members, both young and old.
All over Cork, the improvement in facilities has in the main transformed local GAA clubs into quality locations that provide for players of all ages on and off the pitch, however, these improvements come at a big financial cost.
A club like Grenagh GAA Club, in the Muskerry division, is your quintessential village GAA club that not only provides an outlet for locals but fills the role of the heart of the village.
Grenagh GAA club delivers on many fronts and is able to field teams in both codes from kids to adults and now thanks to some serious planning and investments have facilities that are comparable to the best around.
The Grenagh GAA Club was founded back in 1934 and has been a testament to the locals of the Muskerry area ever since.
The club took some time to get the hang of competing with more established clubs at the time but managed to reach their first final 1951 - that was the year the minor hurlers reached the Cork County Final only to be defeated by Midleton.
It would be another seven years before the club took home their first divisional junior hurling crown however that side would go on to suffer another County final defeat that year.
Again, there was divisional success in 1966 but like the previous adventure, there was heartbreak at the County final stage.
The early 70s proved to be hugely important for the club with the beginning of the Sports Complex development.
This project was completed without having to go down the route of taking out any loans — an incredible achievement for any community back then, or indeed today.
Another barren period followed on the pitch with silverware hard to come by as emigration reaped havoc on playing numbers in the area, however, a big effort was made in the late 1980’s at underage and schools level to keep the GAA competitive in the area which ultimately led to some of the most historic days in the club’s history.
The early 90s is when it all started to come good at the mid-Cork club as 14 trophies made their way to Grenagh over the next 25 years or so.
The 10 hurling crowns along with four football honours showed just how successful the regeneration programme of the 80’s had become as talented players lined up to represent club and county.
What made it all the more impressive is that football, as well as hurling, was producing the goods as Grenagh GAA Club became one of the few successful dual clubs.
In the early 2000s the club had a dream to own their own playing pitch which got closer to becoming a reality when they purchased land from to build a pitch, dressing rooms and the playground.
The money for this purchase was raised through smart savings from the club lotto funds and sports capital grants.
To develop the land from agricultural to the present playable pitch the club reached out to club members for loans and not surprisingly the support received blew everyone away which meant that the club was able to develop a pitch which is now one of the finest in Cork.
In 2017, there was an opportunity to buy a piece of land next to the club pitch which enables the club to move their dressing rooms to a more suitable location with building works beginning early in 2019, subject to planning.
The capital cost of the dressing rooms will be in the region of €240K, however, the club has a plan to raise the funds with €94K secured from a sports capital grant and €30K from club savings raised through the weekly lotto.
The rest of the cash (€116K) will need to be raised locally so after years of providing for the community the club is back in the fundraising business and that kicks off this weekend with a major fundraising project “A night at the Dogs in Curraheen Park on November 24).
Grenagh GAA club is hoping to raise €30K through tickets to the event, race sponsorship and the purchase of 66 dogs as well as advertising space.
On the pitch, the club hs had a host of hugely talented players coming through with and playing for the division (Muskerry) and then the county however the long list of names that put on the red of Cork is much more impressive than one might have first thought.
Most notable among these players were the likes of Phil Duggan, Denis Murphy, Jerome Twomey, Con Moynihan, Paul Coleman, Aidan Dorgan, John Russell, Tom Kenny, Tadgh Walsh and Sean Bourke — however there is a much longer list of hugely talented players that have given their talents to the Grenagh cause over the years.
Grenagh GAA club is one of those clubs that the GAA prides itself on having inside its stable.
The passion, the commitment, the volunteerism and the history that is seen in a place like Grenagh go a long way to making the GAA what it is today and what Grenagh GAA is today.
The night at the dogs this Saturday night will hopefully go a long way to providing adequate funding for the club’s ambitious plans.
So, if you’re wondering what to do this weekend and you’re looking for a good night out why not make your way to Curraheen Park and support this worthwhile venture.
The Grenagh team, who were U21 Mid Cork Champions and County semi finalists 2017.
The New Pitch at Grenagh GAA Club.