Lisgoold GAA club is the heartbeat of the East Cork village

Lisgoold GAA club is the heartbeat of the East Cork village
Lisgoold, winners of the Division 4 football league and championship minor double this year. Picture: David Keane.

LISGOOLD GAA club is certainly the heartbeat of the local community in the East Cork village.

It incorporates everyone from the area in some shape or form and now the latest development for the club is a superb new astro-turf facility.

People from all walks of life have made a contribution in some way towards the developments at the club over the last five years from members of Lisgoold GAA to the many people from the local area outside of the club who have all helped.

Within those five years amazingly from a plot of land has sprung up a very impressive club house incorporating a state of the art gym and now a 60-metre long astro area which is walled in on three sides.

The latest development coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Lisgoold team of 1994 who won the Cork County junior B championship with a famous victory over Buttevant at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

John Joe O’Regan was the first member of the club to become an East Cork Board officer back in 2010.

“The club used many fields since it was founded back 1887 right up until 1981 when we started to use the fields that we have today. In 1995 we bought the ground from the Woods family which was a great thing at the time and now when you look around the place it is hard to believe considering where we came from and it looks fantastic.”

Norma Woods of the fundraising and development side of the club said: “It took us about four years to get enough money to go to the bank and apply for a loan for the club house and last September the building was paid for and the loan is cleared.

“To fundraise we have a calendar that comes out every Christmas, we do ‘Cash for Clobber’, a ‘Golf Classic’ in June and we do a ‘Standing Order’ of €8 per month and that has been a huge success and that’s how we raised €250,000 for the club house building.

“We did get a grant from the ‘National Lottery’ of €93,000 included in that final figure which we were very grateful for and now we have the astro turf pitch which is not fully finalised yet, but we are looking at costs of around €220,000 and again the ‘National Lottery’ were very generous giving the club grant support of €73,000.

“I would like to stress that the money came from all of the community not just the club and that is important to note.”

The player’s reaction to the new astro area has been one of excitement and appreciation and now Lisgoold can boast the very finest facilities.

Cultural Officer at the club is Michael Mulcahy.

“We have two schools in the area and the thoughts of many people was that we didn’t have fields for the schools or facilities for the schools and we were starting to lose people because we hadn’t the proper facilities for them.

“I think that we are catering for 180 boys and 80 girls in the area and now we are actually gaining people for the first time and players coming to us from other clubs and that shows that we are definitely doing something right and these facilities that we have here at the club are the way forward.”

There are a few minor tweaks to be done, the lights will be slightly adjusted and the surface brushed professionally, but it certainly is a very impressive area indeed and should help the development of players for the future.

Lisgoold were lucky to have an engineer on their fundraising and development committee in the form of Brian O’Leary.

“Everybody has something to contribute towards this development, I suppose in terms of planning and tendering I helped out, that is part of my day job, but everyone one had their part to play in this project.”

There were no shortages of people who wanted to be part of the development of the club, according to Michael Walsh, another member of the fundraising and development committee.

“It’s amazing that so many people wanted to get involved and all sorts of stuff in the Parish as well at the GAA and it shows that Lisgoold is a great community.”

Now the club will look forward to their trip to ‘Water Rock House’ where they can roll back the years and pay homage to the men of ‘94 and start the fundraising effort all over again.

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