To paraphrase Micheal O’Muircheartaigh, Longford may not be a bocce stronghold but nonetheless the county has secured €9,500 in funding for a bocce court at the Mall. Donning his Santa hat before the Christmas holidays, Sports Minister Michael Ring, announced almost €70,000 for two local authority-backed projects in Longford.
A breakdown of the funding allocated to Longford shows that €58,000 has been granted to a MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) and €9500 for a Bocce Court, both to be erected in The Mall in Longford Town.
Dan Rooney, Town Clerk, had called for increased funding for sporting facilities in Longford citing that “they will inevitably increase the participation in and enjoyment of sports in the County. “The great success of Longford teams and athletes this year has shown that we can compete at the highest levels and improvements in sports facilities in Longford will no doubt ensure that all members of the community can train in quality facilities or use them for recreational purposes too.”
The Department of Sport, in equal partnership with Irish Public Bodies (IPB) and Local Authorities, created the €3m fund to create and enhance sport and recreational facilities in each council area.
Applications were sought for suitable qualifying projects. Minister Ring, in consultation with senior executives from IPB made the final assessments and allocations to the valid projects.
The modern bocce game was developed in Italy and is derived from the game of bowls. Bocce is played in a large number of European countries and now looks set to take Longford by storm.