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Council reaffirms camogie pitch commitment


Clare county councillors have supported a call for an unequivocal commitment to make a pitch available for the sole use of the Clare Camogie Board.
On November 18, 1986, Clare County Council agreed to make available to the Clare Camogie Board the first available local authority pitch.
Councillors Joe Arkins and Joe Cooney tabled a joint motion at last Monday’s council meeting calling on the authority to make an unequivocal commitment to make a pitch available to Clare Camogie Board for its sole use.
Councillor Arkins stressed there was an onus on the council to implement the decision made by a previous council and noted that the proposed use of pitches for soccer and ladies football should not water down the commitment given to the camogie board.
“Camogie has had a second-class call on facilities in the county. It is time that the camogie board has a few acres it can call its own for its sole use. The need to provide facilities for other groups is a separate issue and should not affect the previous commitment,” he said.
Councillor Cooney expressed concern that every summer the camogie board had to go around looking for pitches from GAA clubs for inter-county games.
Councillors Pat Hayes, Michael Begley and Johnny Flynn, among others, also supported the proposal. While Councillor Gabriel Keating also backed the provision of a pitch for the camogie board, he wondered if some arrangement could be entered into to benefit the Ladies Football Board.
This was opposed by Councillor Arkins, who reiterated that the camogie board needed a pitch for its own use.
Welcoming the decision, Clare Camogie Board chairperson, Orla Considine said that the board was delighted that some uncertainty surrounding the future use of a field at the former Doora landfill facility had been removed. Ms Considine said that a new permanent field would be an extremely positive development for Clare women playing camogie.
Once the new field was vested under the name of the camogie board, she stated the board was prepared to enter into discussions with the Clare Ladies Football Board to see if they could be facilitated with future use of the pitch following mutual agreement.
County manager, Tom Coughlan said that it was up to the council to implement decisions taken by councillors, which he was prepared to carry out.
When the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified its requirements for the future use of the field, Mr Coughlan explained a notice containing certain conditions would be put before councillors for their consideration and approval.
Director of service, Bernadette Kinsella confirmed the council was currently in the process of remediating and restoring the old Doora landfill under an EPA waste licence and a High Court order dating from December 1998.
The basis for the restoration and aftercare plan was put forward in a report by Tobins Consulting Engineers in September 2006, which was commissioned by the council. The remediation and restoration works are at an advanced stage and it is envisaged that works will be substantially completed next month.
Ms Kinsella stated the contract provided for a new entrance from the Quin Road, a tarmacadam car park for approximately 20 to 25 cars, a system of pathways/nature walkways, which will pass through the newly landscaped amenity area, two playing pitches, both complete with goal-posts. There are no dressing rooms or toilets being provided under the contract.
The larger of the two playing pitches, being 130m x 80m in dimensions, satisfies the minimum GAA criteria for a playing pitch size. The smaller would be suitable for soccer. The playing pitches will not be ready to be used for games until early 2011 in order for the grass to have sufficient time to take hold.
“Under the terms of the EPA licence, the council will be responsible for the ongoing monitoring and aftercare of the site. There may be issues with regards to the erection of structures or facilities on the site, for example, toilets, dressing rooms, stands etc because of the impact of landfill gas.
“These and other issues will have implications for any lease arrangement and will require to be discussed and agreed with the EPA. Contact has been made with the relevant EPA inspector with a view to meeting to discuss these issues.
“Representatives of the Clare Camogie Board have been met and have detailed their requirements. These include a playing surface, which can be fenced off from public use and which would ideally include the training surface adjacent to the playing field. In the long term, the camogie board would like to provide dressing rooms, erect a score board and erect lightling on the training surface,” she said.
A meeting also took place with representatives of Avenue United FC, who are interested in renting, leasing or indeed purchasing the site. They have indicated that they are prepared to share the facility and that changing facilities would be essential.

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