WATCH: Limerick GAA club reveals state-of-the-art ball alley plans

Donal O'Regan


Donal O'Regan


WATCH: Limerick GAA club reveals state-of-the-art ball alley plans

Kilteely-Dromkeen GAA committee members and youngsters at the development location

MORE and more boys and girls are picking up hurleys thanks to Limerick’s All-Ireland win.

Kilteely-Dromkeen GAA is ensuring they have the best possible facilities for them, current and future generations. The club has embarked on an ambitious plan to build a ball alley. Work is expected to start in April.

Noel O’Dea, chairman, said the idea of the indoor training facility was conceived in early 2016 and when completed will benefit the whole community.

“The club currently has one playing pitch with no all-weather training facilities or training wall on the property. We set out to design and build a training facility that could be used by club members and other organisations in the community all year round.

“During our research, we came across a number of studies around the benefits of training in a 60 x 30 ball alley while also noting that it rains on average approximately 200 days per year in this part of the county. We therefore felt that an indoor 60 x 30 training alley would be an important aspect of the development. A training space of this size facilitates small and large training groups and provides a home for the local handball club,” said Noel.

A viewing area will be included. The indoor facility has the benefit of providing an outdoor 80 ft long, 20 ft high training wall facing the playing field. It will be an ideal warm up area for teams before pitch sessions. Robert Holmes, club secretary, says the GAA is the heart of rural communities which are “suffering with the closing of shops, pubs, post-offices and other local services”.

“In Kilteely-Dromkeen we are working hard to keep our sense of community alive with great work going on in the community council, tidy towns and many other groups and organisations. The aim of this project is to provide an inclusive training facility for the entire community.

“We plan to run skills sessions for all juvenile age groups on Saturdays in the off season and introduce parish leagues to provide training and participation opportunities for young people in the parish all year round,” said Robert.

The project will be in memory of their late and much-missed club stalwart, Robbie O’Dea.

Denny Ahern, club development committee chairman, said Robbie’s passing in June 2018 came as a major shock to the club, the parish and, more importantly, his family.

“Robbie was a very active member of the club for over 40 years as a player, coach, manager, administrator and chairman. Robbie always had great ambition for the club and worked selflessly to improve the standards of the club on and off the field.

“At the club AGM in December 2017, Robbie spoke passionately in favour of the development project which was still at inception stage at that point and played a crucial role in getting the project off the ground and getting everyone in the club behind the development.

“We feel it is quite appropriate that the new development will be in memory of Robbie as recognition of his fantastic service and contribution to the club during his lifetime,” said Denny.

Larry O’Grady, treasurer, said they have raised a substantial amount from fundraisers and successful grant applications. They are currently in the middle of raising a further €90,000 through private donations, interest free loans and a buy a brick campaign. Anyone wishing to donate can visit their GoFundMe page.

A lip sync fundraiser will take place on Saturday, May 4 in the Ballykisteen Hotel.

“Fundraising efforts are progressing well and we are very grateful for the fantastic support and goodwill we are receiving at home and abroad,” said Larry.