A NUMBER of fundraising events supporting the provision of a €1.2 million sports and recreational development spearheaded by former Lions and Rugby caption Keith Wood in Killaloe, have been organised by a local committee.
The Clarisford Development, on the Clare shore of the River Shannon, will finally see sports and recreational facilities in the twin communities of Ballina and Killaloe brought in line with the growing local need.
The first phases of the development on 25 acres of parkland behind the former Bishop’s Palace, Clarisford House, has commenced and includes two full-size playing pitches, one all-weather floodlit pitch, floodlit training areas, 800m of walking/cycling trails, temporary changing facilities, car parking and ancillary services.
These phases are funded through CLDC Leader, the Keith Wood Fund and by the beneficiary clubs (Lough Derg FC, Ballina Killaloe RFC and Killaloe fifth/22nd Clare Scout Group) and will be completed in 2013.
The site has been handed over on a 35-year lease by Clare County Council and the ESB to the local committee.
Access to the site has been incorporated in the plans for the new access road to the proposed new bridge over the Shannon.
The first event, an end-of-school disco takes place downstairs in O’Donovan’s Bar, Ballina for second, third and fourth classes between 6.30pm and 8.30pm and for fifth and sixth classes between 9pm and 11pm this Friday.
Teams of four are invited to participate in a golf classic in East Clare Golf Club on July 6 and 7.
A Round Lough Derg Cycle will leave Flanagan’s, Ballina, at 10.30am on July 22, while volunteers are required for a street collection the same day. Details have to be announced about a concert in St Flannan’s Cathedral, Killaloe on September 20.
According to a statement issued by the Killaloe fifth/ 22nd Scouts, Ballina-Killaloe RFC and Lough Derg FC, this investment will benefit local children, local clubs and the entire community for present and future generations.
When families register for any of these three clubs in September, they will be asked to pay a €100 contribution, which covers a family for all three groups. The clubs will use this money to pay for the approved developments.
The facility is also a timely addition for the nearby St Anne’s Community College, which is expected to have a 50% increase in its student enrolment within three years and is already under-resourced in terms of sporting and recreational facilities.
The development company for the Clarisford project, the Ballina Killaloe Sports and Community Development Company (Clarisford) Ltd and St Anne’s are also working together to fund a new sports/community hall on the school grounds, while permanent changing facilities and an exercise studio are also in the planning stage.
Clarisford is the brainchild of the former Irish and Munster legend and local man Keith Wood, who turned the sod on the site recently and predicted it would do the area proud when it is completed.
Chairman of the Ballina Killaloe Sports and Community Development Company (Clarisford) Ltd, Joe Gilmartin, explained this new leisure amenity is for the benefit of young and old in Killaloe and Ballina.
“The easiest way to introduce the project is to highlight the dream. For years, local organisations have been entirely at the behest of goodwill from local farmers for the use of land as pitches.
“The Killaloe parish, recognising a need, also came up trumps by making the old boys’ school available to the scouts.
“These clubs desperately need their own place to call home. The wherewithal to make this dream a reality was not present or viable by any one club but under the Clarisford banner, resources have become available enabling us to deliver far more than each club could have achieved individually.
“This project will be inter-generational, will cater for the wider community and will comprise 800m of paths, walkways, picnic areas and car parking.
“This is just the start and we hope that by working together, we can bring this amenity to a level that Killaloe and Ballina can be proud of,” he said.
Donations can be made at AIB Killaloe or by lodging money into The Community Clarisford Project, sort code 93 54 17, account number, 06127009.
For further information on fundraising events, contact Alan Frahill on 086 8074868 or firstname.lastname@example.org.