Astroturf Launch 2014-09-30 20:21:00

BANTRY Blues GAA Club’s ambitious development plans remain on course after its recent launch of its new astroturf facility at Wolfe Tone Park.

By chairman Flor Murphy’s own admission, the club’s development plans are just what’s needed as Bantry had ‘fallen way too far behind other clubs’ in terms of facilities on offer.

The first stage of this progressive development is the astroturf facility with floodlighting, which Crowley explains is not only a big boost to the club itself but also to the wider Bantry area.

‘This is a very important addition to the club and to the town itself,’ Murphy said.

‘From our point of view it’s vital because before this we had no facility to train on from January to March when we couldn’t train on our pitches. 

‘Take earlier this season, for example, when our seniors couldn’t train on our pitches until St Patrick’s weekend, because both pitches were just too wet. So the seniors, outside their work in the gym, had to run on the roads and streets, and that’s not condusive to where we want to be.’ 

At the launch night held in The Maritime Hotel, Bantry, the club’s honorary president Pat O'Donovan spoke of how important the new astroturf development is to the people of Bantry.

Finian O'Sullivan, who spearheaded the development plans, and club treasurer Philly Spillane updated the members on the position of the club financially in relation to this project. 

The club was successful in obtaining a Sports Capital Grant of €90,000 from the Department of Sport. Also the club received a grant of €13,000 from Cork County Council and €2,500 from Bantry Town Council before it was wound up. 

With the club investing its own savings of €90,000 and the project due to cost €275,000, this leaves a shortfall of €80,000.

It was put to the members that while the club could borrow this amount, it is hoped that if all members made a big effort a fundraising over the next few months the club could reduce the amount of borrowings substantially. 

The main fundraising drive the club will be undertaking is the promotion and selling of the Cork GAA Clubs Draw tickets. For each ticket sold the club will receive 50 per cent of the proceeds. 

The club’s Cork County Board delegate Pat Connolly explained that this is a risk-free way of fundraising for the club as the prizes are put up by the county board. The aim for the year ahead would be to sell 800 of these tickets, which would raise in the region of €45,000 for the club. The other means of fundraising that the club is hoping to maximise is the sale of the fortnightly lotto tickets.

Club chairman Flor Murphy also added that the astroturf would be available to other clubs and groups in the community and would hopefully be able to pay for future developments of Wolfe Tone Park. Bantry’s management committee is presently formulating a five-year plan to develop further its playing facilities, such as ball wall and upgrading the two playing pitches.




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