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Many hands make lights work!!   24/10/2019

Minister Michael Ring officially opened the new pitch in Islandeady G.A.A. club and switched on the new floodlights.


Club chairman Tony Collins traced the efforts of local people to develop the facilities from the club’s foundation in 1904, through the 1960s when the current field was purchased for £520, to the 1970s when members donated £100 each to help build the current clubhouse, to the recent purchase of extra land that allowed the construction of a new playing pitch and a training area. The generosity and foresight of Burrishoole man Jack Keane and local landowners the Roache family, was noted. Strong community spirit and generosity was ev-ident throughout the history of the club, and continues today. Examples include the build-ing of the original boundary wall by the stand, completed in one day by local volunteers, and the loans of €3,000 which many members gave the club to facilitate the development of the new pitch. Clubman Michael Horan of Axo Architects guided the development of the pitch, training area and walkway, and floodlights were added this summer.

This means the club can cater for the increased volume of people using its facilities. Now-adays, Islandeady G.A.A. fields men’s teams from Under 6 up to two adult teams, and the Ladies club has grown enormously since its reforming in 2014, catering for girls from under 6 upwards and culminating in a County title recently.


Minister Ring and his government Department were thanked for their wonderful support of Islandeady club for the past few years. The pitch development would not have been possi-ble without it. Minister Ring’s real support of rural communities is outstanding, and is ap-preciated by all.


Islandeady G.A.A. Club’s president Deputy Enda Kenny was thanked for his active partici-pation in, and support of the club for over 50 years. The Connaught G.A.A. Council and all the sponsors of the club, including main sponsors Elverys and Ryan Structural Steel, were thanked. John Foran of Emerald Pitch Developments and Seán Corcoran of Electric Sky-line, as well as local contractors Seán Sammon and Michael O’ Malley, were thanked for their great work on the project.


Seamus Tuohy, vice chairperson Mayo G.A.A., praised the volunteerism and goodwill that made the whole project a reality. He is proud of his own connections to the parish of Is-landeady and thanked Minister Ring who understands the importance of the G.A.A. in the life of the parish. He also thanked Lisa Chambers, Michael Kilcoyne, Ciaran Blackie Gavin, Ger Deere, Martin McLoughlin and Alan Dillon.


Fr. Chris Brennan P.P. blessed the pitch and led prayers for the community. Minister Ring said that Fr. Chris was a great servant to the community. He thanked Islandeady G.A.A. on behalf of the Government for all they do for the youngsters and hoped the young peo-ple appreciated what their parents were doing for them. He pointed out that community is fundamental to our lives and that we are very lucky in this country to have the G.A.A. which encourages people to pull together. Minister Ring said the new road that will con-nect Westport to Turlough will bring neighbouring communities together and boost the whole area.





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