€4m GAA fa­cil­ity in Gle­nealy given the go-ahead

Wicklow People - - FRONT PAGE - By BREN­DAN KEANE

GLE­NEALY GAA club has been given per­mis­sion to carry out a €4m de­vel­op­ment at its home base after Wick­low County Coun­cil gave the thumbs up to the pro­posal last week.

The de­vel­op­ment, which will in­cor­po­rate a 21-acre state-of-the-art com­plex, 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 wel­comed the news but said there is an ur­gent need to cre­ate a new ju­ve­nile pitch at the club along with car park­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Once com­pleted, the de­vel­op­ment 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 as part of the com­plex.

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 EXIT2. PEDES­TRIAN CROSS­ING 3 & 12. 162 PARK­ING SPA­CES4. JU­VE­NILE PLAY­ING PITCH5. HAND­BALL AL­LEY6. FENCED TRAIN­ING PITCH7. RUN­NING TRACK AND GYM8. PLAY­ING PITCH9. CLUB­HOUSE10. PLAY­ING PITCH11. JU­VE­NILE PLAY­ING PITCH

BELOW: The new club­house with chang­ing fa­cil­i­ties and toi­lets – No. 9 above.

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