Big plans for Gle­nealy GAA

De­vel­op­ment gets go-ahead

Wicklow People - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE

THERE was a huge sense of cel­e­bra­tion and re­lief in Gle­nealy last week when news broke that their plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for a su­perb new GAA fa­cil­ity in the heart of the vil­lage had been granted by An Bord Pleanála after a six-year voy­age.

The new com­plex will be built on land op­po­site the lo­cal na­tional school and will in­clude two full-size GAA pitches, a ju­ve­nile pitch to the front, park­ing for the school to help ease traf­fic dif­fi­cul­ties at school times, a run­ning track, a hurl­ing wall and a fully func­tion­ing club house on a cen­trally lo­cated and stun­ning 21-acre site.

Huge ef­fort and work have gone into this project from the tightknit com­mu­nity of Gle­nealy and the orig­i­nal com­mit­tee in charge (Pat Staunton, Joe Lin­nane, Nigel Man­ley and Noel Ger­aghty) have asked that Wick­low County Coun­cil and ar­chi­tect PJ Sut­ton be thanked for their as­sis­tance and help at ev­ery turn on the long and ar­du­ous road to plan­ning ap­proval. The com­mit­tee, led by chair­man Pat Staunton, also wish to ex­press their eter­nal grat­i­tude to the com­mu­nity of Gle­nealy and to all who helped in any way in get­ting the project over the line at the sec­ond time of ask­ing.

Ini­tially, plan­ning per­mis­sion was sought for half the project, and was granted by Wick­low County Coun­cil. A grant was ap­plied for and was suc­cess­ful with €210,000 be­ing se­cured.

How­ever, one ob­jec­tion to the project meant that the time limit on the grant ran out and that fi­nan­cial boost was lost.

An Bord Pleanála de­clined the orig­i­nal plan­ning per­mis­sion re­quest for two en­tirely dif­fer­ent rea­sons than the ob­jec­tion, so the com­mit­tee re­con­fig­ured the project to meet all re­quire­ments of An Bord Pleanála and re­sub­mit­ted the ap­pli­ca­tion which was granted by Wick­low County Coun­cil and last week by An Bord Pleanála bring­ing to an end six years of hard work and, at times, frus­tra­tion.

‘We’re ab­so­lutely de­lighted with the news,’ said com­mit­tee chair­man Pat Staunton. ‘We’ve got the plan­ning. We’re al­most six years on this road. We’re lucky that we are a tight-knit com­mit­tee.

‘Wick­low County Coun­cil have been very good to us at ev­ery turn, they have re­ally helped us so much,’ said Pat. ‘The Wick­low County Board as well, they were very help­ful, and Le­in­ster Coun­cil gave us a quar­ter of the price of the land and plenty of ad­vice. Croke Park helped out as well, they gave us the bal­ance of the price of the land at an ac­cept­able.

‘And I have to ap­plaud the sup­port of the pa­trons of the club and many other peo­ple be­sides. We set up a plaque ini­tia­tive here where you give €50 a month for a year which works out a €600. We had a tar­get of 34 peo­ple to pay our mort­gage and we’re well above that now and some of the peo­ple just came up and gave us the €600 straight up, and one man just handed in a cheque of €1,000. The feed­back for them is that there will be a plaque put up on the wall in the club with their names on it for­ever,’ he added.

The project will be com­pleted in a phased man­ner with the ju­ve­nile pitch and park­ing be­ing the first stage.

Pat Staunton says that the help of ar­chi­tect PJ Sut­ton of Sut­ton Design was im­mensely im­por­tant to the project.

‘PJ is a lo­cal man here and he has driven this project. He works as Sut­ton Design Stu­dio and he has gone over and be­yond what would be ex­pected of any ar­chi­tect. He’s been bril­liant to us, he’s been a rev­e­la­tion to us. Ev­ery­body has great time for him. He re­ally has put his heart and soul into this project. He had an em­pa­thy with the club and with the project but apart from that he is very good at what he does,’ said Pat, who also ac­knowl­edged the ef­forts of Dean Turner (con­sult­ing engi­neer) through­out the process.

For a brief pe­riod, the com­mit­tee that have toiled so hard to get this plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion over the line can take a break and catch their breaths. How­ever, their rest will be a short one, as the hard graft be­gins now.

‘So now we have to sit down and catch our breaths,’ said Pat, ‘We’ll prob­a­bly have to form a new com­mit­tee, put a project man­ager in place, it’s ter­ri­bly im­por­tant that we get some­one to drive this for­ward in the right way. We’ve a 10-year limit on the plan­ning per­mis­sion so it will be done in stages,’ added Pat. ST. Ni­cholas showed no mercy when they oblit­er­ated Clan Na Gael in their open­ing round match of the new Un­der-20 Foot­ball cham­pi­onship on Thurs­day evening last.

It was a bit­terly cold night as the grass glis­tened from the frost as both teams lined out.

Sur­pris­ingly, there was no Donard man on the start­ing fif­teen for the Nic’s.

St. Ni­cholas turned in a stel­lar at­tack­ing dis­play against the Kil­mac/En­niskerry com­bi­na­tion team.

Tom Lawlor, Niall Fla­herty, along with Paddy Kelly were the stars for the vic­tors.

Mid­fielder, Paddy Kelly knocked over the first score of the night with a long-range point as Nic’s hit the ground run­ning. Points fol­lowed from Daire Wright and Tom Lawlor.

Shane O’Rourke cut through the Gael’s rear­guard and fired home Nic’s first ma­jor of the evening in the sev­enth minute.

The lively Tom (Mossy) Lawlor swung over an ex­cel­lent point that left the East Coast side shell­shocked at this stage.

Clan na Gael could not cope with the power and pace of a fast­mov­ing Nic’s unit. Niall Fla­herty knocked over a pow­er­ful point,

Plans for the new Gle­nealy GAA com­plex.

St Ni­cholas, who beat Clan Na Gael in their Un­der-20 foot­ball cham­pi­onship match.

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