WORK on the first phase of Clare GAA’s development at Caherlohan, Tulla, will start shortly, the April meeting of the county board was told this week.
Consultant engineer Niall Fitzgerald gave an updated report to this week’s meeting in which he outlined that the development will include seven grass pitches, one all-weather pitch, four dressing rooms plus a referees room, car parking facilities and covered standing accommodation for 1,500 patrons.
Four of the seven grass pitches will be floodlit, as will the all-weather facility. The provision of a running track, a gym and a hurling alley are also planned in the development.
During the discussion, county secretary Pat Fitzgerald spoke of concerns with regard to the maintenance of the facility.
“You need staff to manage such a facility and it is going to cost money. That has to be factored in. We must look at this now. I don’t want to see a white elephant as it would be an embarrassment for all concerned. We have four pitches at the moment and they all have to be maintained. It’s a very exciting project,” he said, before adding that Croke Park had allocated “in excess of €1.5m for the project”.
He went on to point out the difficulties involved at present with finding training facilities for county teams.
In reply to a query from St Breckan’s delegate, John Hehir, as to whether or not there were some finances in the county for this project, treasurer Bernard Keane said, “we have some money set aside for the project”.
Engineer Niall Fitzgerald told delegates it is hoped to start work in late May or early June on the pitches and to start on the dressing rooms in September or October.
“It’s a particularly exciting project, in the current climate especially and it’s one we badly need,” said board chairman, Michael O’Neill.
The meeting supported the project on the proposition of PJ Fitzpatrick (Sixmilebridge), seconded by Michael Hogan (Clonlara).