CATERING for the requirements of an ever growing membership is a challenge for every GAA club in the country and having an astroturf pitch puts you in a very advantageous position to meet those needs.
Aghabullogue are the latest club to travel down that road and very recently they were in a position to unveil their brand new project in Coachford.
Cork County Board chair, Tracey Kennedy was present to do the honours as she officially cut the tape of the 70m by 40m facility.
In front of a large attendance, she complimented the vibrant Mid Cork club for their foresight in bringing the project to fruition, stating that astroturf facilities are very important for all clubs going forward.
She recognised the cost involved and praised the local community for their support in the venture.
Proceedings got underway with a blessing from local PP Fr Peadar Murphy followed by Denis Ring and Evelyn Tarrant chairpersons of Aghabullogue GAA and Camogie club both addressing the crowd.
Both paid special thanks to the local community who had financially supported this project through €1,000 loans, stating that this was a significant investment for the youth of the area by all who contributed.
Other organisations like the Sports Capital Programme, Cork County Council and the Munster GAA Council were also thanked for their financial support which was vital.
It was also mentioned that the facility is in big demand and is used by many other clubs and groups from the local area which validated the need for such a facility in the community. Mairead O’Donovan who was representing the Cork Camogie Board spoke of her admiration of the camogie club in Aghabullogue and the work they have done at all levels in recent years and wished the club all the best for the future.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed spoke of his memories of playing on the grounds of Aghabullogue GAA club and acknowledged the work of former committee members for what they have done over the years.
He also highlighted the strong local leadership throughout the parish in Rylane, Coachford and Aghabullogue and what people on the ground are doing to make their community a better place and that the new Astroturf facility is just another example of this.
The final speaker was guest of honour Ms Kennedy who congratulated the club on their foresight to develop this state of the art facility that can be used all year round.
She also praised the community spirit and the close relationship between the GAA and Camogie clubs in the parish, working together for the betterment of the youth in the locality. Aghabullogue GAA club members Marc Sheehan and John Crean were also thanked by Tracey for their contribution to the club and Cork GAA.
The final duties of the night fell to the County Board chair to cut the green and white ribbon to officially open the astroturf pitch and to great excitement, the U8 boys and girls raced onto the pitch to play a blitz.