THE Limerick Desmond League are renaming their headquarters in Clounreask to 'Mick Hanley Park' this Saturday evening
THE Limerick Desmond League are renaming their headquarters in Clounreask to 'Mick Hanley Park' this Saturday evening.
The FAIs John Delaney and former Ireland internationals Paul McGrath and Andy Reid are set to attend the unveiling, which commemorates the service of Mick Hanley for his contributions to the Desmond League for the last fifty-plus years.
Mick, who was chairman of the Desmond League from 1975 until 2012, has been there from the start.
"When the league was founded in 1955 I think we only had four teams,” he said.
"The league has changed beyond all description since then,” with their being 40 clubs in the league at one point in the 1990’s. Jack Charlton played no small part in the expansion as soccer 'took off like a bomb' in the 1980’s and '90’s as the national team enjoyed great success.
The League would not have been as successful without its 'great management, according to Mike Hanley
"Everyone I’ve met through the league was first class. I loved every second of it!” he added.
Mick says he is very humbled to have the League's Headquarters named after him and that his only goal was to do 'as much as he could for the league'.
He insists he’s not done yet, he’s hoping to clear what small debt the league have left, and get another stand for the main pitch at the soon-to-be Mick Hanley Park.
"The thing I’m most proud of is that 95% of our clubs have top-class facilities and 90% of them own them themselves,” said Mike, who also praised the FAI for their contributions.
"There was one stage we needed the pitch resurfaced and it was going to cost €35,000 and we hadn’t €35, so John Delaney came down and said, ‘you’ve been a great league, we’ll sort out the pitch for you,’ and he kept his word.”
The ceremony takes place in the Desmond League headquarters at Clounreask at 6pm this Saturday.
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