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Joe Murphy, Roche Ireland pictured with Clarecastle GAA President Christy Collins and members of the Clarecastle Community Amenity group at the sod turning for the development of a new full size all weather pitch and walking trails in Clarecastle

Sod turned on new Clarecastle community and recreation park

A GOAL to develop a new community and recreation park, including a full sized all-weather playing pitch and walking track and trails, is being realised in Clarecastle.

Clarecastle Community Amenity Company have turned the sod on the park which will be located on lands donated by Clarecastle GAA. The park is part of a wider phased programme of development that will include a spectator viewing area, floodlighting and female changing rooms. It will feature the first full-sized all-weather pitch in County Clare.

At the sod turning, Tadg Collins, chairman of the Clarecastle Community Amenity Company said, “Today is the culmination of a number of years’ work to develop a facility that has been long identified by members of our community as filling a gap in terms of facilities for young and old. It will provide a community resource that we hope will encourage more year-round physical activity and participation in a safe environment. Our partnership approach with Clarecastle GAA provides the park with a location easily accessed by the community and is ideal for use by local groups and schools who will use the space for outdoor physical activities.”

He added, “We started the journey thanks to Roche Ireland who part-funded the park to perpetuate its legacy in Clarecastle through the provision of a facility that can be used by the entire community long after its site in Clarehill is decommissioned and returned to a brownfield site. That was the real impetus behind the park and it will create a fitting legacy for Roche Ireland who have been central to the fabric of life in Clarecastle for decades.”

Project owner of Roche Ireland’s Clarecastle Site Decommissioning Project, Joe Murphy, said, “Roche Ireland Ltd is delighted to be a contributor to the creation of the Clarecastle Community & Recreation Park through part-funding the development of the all-weather pitch at the site adjacent to Clarecastle GAA grounds.

The stimulus for the creation of a community and recreation park of this nature in Clarecastle was the lack of multi-generational facilities in the village. There were no accessible all-weather facilities for community groups and clubs and no dedicated, safe walking environment, particularly in winter time. The creation of a community walking track linked to other village amenities will create a safe village loop. This is a project that fits well with Roche’s ethos of giving back to the communities in which it operates. We look forward to seeing the benefits that it will deliver to the community,” Mr Murphy added.

Niall Touhy, chairman of Clarecastle GAA outlined that the partnership approach between the Community Amenity Company and the Club arose from the club’s acquisition of the adjoining ten-acre site a number of years ago.

He noted, “The Club always intended to deliver a community benefit from the ten-acre site and this partnership ensures that members of the community of all ages and stages of life can participate. Clarecastle GAA has committed to delivering this phased programme of development with the Clarecastle Community Amenity Company and is working to secure the final stages of funding to bring the project to life. We anticipate that the Clarecastle Community & Recreation Park will be operational in the later stages of 2023.”

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