AN Ennis councillor is seeking to court support for the provision of basketball facilities at Lee’s Road, John O’Sullivan Park saying it would be an “ideal location” for people to enjoy the sport.
A feasibility study is to be carried out by the Ennis Municipal District to “scope out the possibility”, however the local authority have cautioned they do not have the funding to provide a basketball court at the moment.
Councillor Mary Howard, speaking at a meeting of the Ennis Municipal District, stated she receives requests regularly “from both young people and not so young that we provide a basketball court at Lee’s Road John O’Sullivan Park.” She urged the council to “seriously” consider the request.
Tim Forde, Head of Sports & Recreation with the council, confirmed that they have also received requests for a basketball court.
“Clare County Council Sports & Recreation are not in a position presently to provide a Basketball Court in Active Ennis John O’Sullivan’ Park, Lees Rd, as we do not possess the necessary budget and/or funding. We too have received requests for a court, and are going to scope out the possibility of same.
“That said, we will in the interim conduct a feasibility study, determining technical requirements and financial costs. Once complete and if favourable, Sports &Recreation will investigate available financial support, in-house and from the SCEG funding when next available.”
Councillor Howard stated there are “very successful” basketball teams operating locally adding, “they have only a finite amount of places to play in and they are all indoors.”
She said that Lees Road is the “ideal location” for the basketball court, pointing out that the facility could be used to accommodate other sports such as netball.
“John O’Sullivan Park is an amazing facility with so much going on. The footprint of a basketball court is quite small but the amount of use it could get is very high.”
Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy voiced her support saying “It is important we keep pushing for this”.
Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Ann Norton commented that it is “fantastic to see” young people playing basketball in the Fair Green.
“During Covid there were issues with many of them getting together and they had to take down the hoops and we got a lot of phonecalls asking they be put back up. It is definitely a sport that seems to be increasing over the years with the numbers of people looking to play. They should be given the opportunity to play indoors and outdoors.”
“Basketball is becoming a huge sport in Ireland,” said Councillor Pat Daly who suggested the council write to the county’s Oireachtas members to seek funding. Councillor Johnny Flynn stated that as a member of the Ennis Active committee he would raise the matter.