A club first founded 130 years ago, Clonguish GAA club has not only become the sporting focal point within the locality, but a vital cog throughout all aspects of the community.
With facilities such as a handball wall, two playing pitches, a training pitch, floodlights, dugouts, dressing rooms, a meeting room, a large indoor hall, a kitchen, a kicking wall, a jogging track and a fully equipped gymnasium, the club already boasts a fantastic array of facilities.
However, one thing which is always to the forefront of the committee’s thoughts, is continual improvement.
Club chair Tim Shanley told the Leader; “We have excellent facilities presently, but you can’t stand still.
“You have to build on what you have and make it better for your members and future members.”
With this in mind the committee have revealed details of a fundraising development draw, which has some incredible prizes up for grabs. The draw itself will take place on Saturday, August 24, at the Castle Inn, Newtownforbes, with all funds raised going towards the continued development of the club.
“The draw is on the 24th of August and tickets are still being sold.The response so far has been very positive,” Tim remarked.
“The ladies board, the hurling board and the minor board are involved as well. It is a full club initiative.
“It is for everybody, because ultimately the facilities are being used for everybody, both hurlers, the ladies teams, junior footballers, senior footballers, everybody.”
Kicking off from 9pm on the night, the event is not all about the draw, with musical entertainment coming in the form of Graham Feeney. Tickets for the draw are priced at €20 each or three for €50, with prizes for the draw including a second prize of a Charolais heifer worth €1,500, a €1,000 holiday voucher for third place and €500 cash for the fourth placed winner.
Fifth prize is two tickets to the All Ireland football final, while there are also five prizes of €100 cash for other winners on the night.
The top prize for this one-of-a-kind draw is a whopping €5,000 cash - So you do NOT want to miss out!
Tickets can be purchased through committee members, players and people can also purchase their ticket for the draw online at https://game.smartlotto.ie/game/play/831
Club secretary Donna Hagan said: “We are also selling them in the local shops and pubs as well.”
The club have already applied for the sports partnership grant and it is hoped any funds raised as part of the draw, will enable them to push forward with their ambitious plans. Recent fundraisers have seen them install a gym, new dugouts and a kicking wall.
Tim explained: “The dugouts were financed by the ladies club and the kicking wall was financed by the minor club.
“The new gym was then installed, financed by the senior club. They were done last year, to the benefit of everyone.”
Should they be successful in having their grant applications approved and with the development draw itself, Tim and Donna revealed the plans the club have in store.
Tim told the Leader: “We are talking about upgrading the complex, upgrading the lighting on the second pitch to LED lighting and we are also talking about maybe putting lights on the third pitch.
“This money will go towards that, plus we are also trying to resurface the car park as well if we can. That’s just another plan we have.”
Donna added: “We are also looking at the possibility of a stand and dugouts on the second pitch.”
It is hoped that the new developments will enable all current 404 club members to achieve even greater success in the future, on the back of the club achieving double All-Ireland glory at the recent Féile competitions.
“It was very unique to see both the boys and girls teams coming back to the parish with their All-Ireland trophies.” Tim reminicised.
With the facilities at the club grounds used for bingo, martial arts classes, the active retirement group, local community games meetings, the tidy towns committee meetings and by the local national school, Tim and Donna have called on all corners of the community to lend their support to the club, promising a great night out for all on Saturday. August 24.
He said: “The GAA club is central to most rural parishes in Ireland.
“Not alone are our facilities used by members, but they are also used by a lot of other organisations in the parish.”
Concluding Donna said: “We have to thank our sponsors, our committee, our players, our managers, just all of our club members and the local community.”