LEADER funding of more than €150,000 has been allocated to Tulla Community Council for the development of an AstroTurf pitch facility in the village.
This project was undertaken by Tulla Community Council in conjunction with the local soccer club, who have been working on it for the past year and a half and it is currently an advanced stage.
Chairman of the community council, Jim O’Sullivan has said the funding means that the pitch could be open for use by this autumn, all going well.
The community council applied for the funding under LEADER last summer but found out on Friday through Deputy Joe Carey that the allocation had been granted.
“We had heard that the funding might be coming through and I got a call to say it was happening on Friday. Everything else is ready to rock and roll and with this allocation, it will definitely be up and ready for the autumn when it is used and needed. We are delighted. It will have a huge benefit for the community. The benefit of it is that every club can use it and the schools can have free access. Any of the clubs in the area will be able to use it anytime so you it is a win-win situation for the local children and anyone else who will use it,” he said.
He added that there will be a nominal fee required to rent out the use of the pitch and that the community council together with Tulla Soccer Club would manage the use of the pitch.
It is the second such community project to be instigated in Tulla as a local committee known as Tulla 2016 are also seeking the development of further community sports facilities in the village. This project includes the development of a GAA pitch, rugby pitch, running track, tennis courts and indoor sports facilities and it is aiming for a 2016 completion date.
Speaking about the funding boost, Clare TD Joe Carey has said that recreation and sport is an area that must continue to receive investment and Government support as it benefits society in the long run.
“It is a great community project, which will add significantly to the sporting infrastructure in the Tulla area when it is completed later this year. Because of the climate in Ireland, AstroTurf facilities are an economic and year-round way of encouraging greater participation and engagement with sports. In Clare, we have a long and proud sporting tradition and I believe we must build on this. Sport can play a huge role in both social cohesion and also in promoting a healthier society.
Therefore, funding local projects such as this in Tulla ensures greater local participation in chosen sports but also helps harness and build on strong communities,” the Clare deputy said.
Local county councillor Pat Hayes said the funding and provision of the AstroTurf field will be a welcome boost to the area.
“I am glad that funding has been secured and I would like to thank Leader and the Clare Local Development Company for granting it in the first place. I have been involved in this project from the outset and the field will be a valuable asset to the community in Tulla and I now look forward to the development of the project,” he said.