Clubhouse will be a great addition to Cork camogie grounds

Clubhouse will be a great addition to Cork camogie grounds
Marie O'Connell, Mallow, Liz Bugler, Valley Rovers, at Castle Road in last year's Senior B final at Castle Road. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The Linda Mellerick Camogie Column

AS THE excitement builds amongst GAA supporters towards the opening of the revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh, there is another hugely exciting project underway which shouldn’t be forgotten, with a launch date of summer ’17.

The clubhouse building adjacent to Cork’s Camogie Grounds in Castle Road is making fantastic strides. Just google Cork Camogie clubhouse video’ to view the progress.

In March 2012 Cork Camogie opened their own pitch in Castle Road, Mahon. I remember being a player in the nineties when the concept of Cork owning their own pitch first arose.

It was a dream of people like Sheila Golden and along with Marian McCarthy, Joe McCarthy, Ollie Hallihan and Mary McSweeney the dream became a reality when the pitch was officially opened by An Uachtarán Joan O’Flynn.

Marian has memories of clocking up the miles with Sheila and Joe around Cork trying to spot some land that might be suitable. Eventually Castle Road was identified and it is a gem.

Deirdre Hayes, Milford, and Aoife Hurley, St. Catherine's, in action at Castle Road. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Deirdre Hayes, Milford, and Aoife Hurley, St. Catherine's, in action at Castle Road. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Since then there has been hundreds of games played on the sod. It’s a magnificent pitch and holds a strong surface when many other grounds succumb to our weather conditions. Yes, its’ a windy venue at times, close to the river, but we’ll get over that.

Huge fundraising efforts have taken place over the past number of years to fund a state of the art clubhouse. From race nights, table quizzes, sponsor a block and draws, this small ‘Pitch Development Committee’ with much support, lay the first block last September with the building now at roof level.

The building will entail a hall, kitchenette, public toilets, four dressing rooms, an office, storeroom, and a referee’s room. Two of the dressing rooms will be fit for use upon opening with the other two to follow once additional funds are pulled in.

Cork chairwoman Mary McSweeney is obviously bursting with pride.

“It’s a magnificent achievement. The drive and enthusiasm which the committee brought to the project has been immense.

“The support we have received from former and current players, clubs, the county board, sub committees, AIB Bank to name just a few has just been tremendous. We couldn’t have done this without them.”

While a handful of counties enjoy their own grounds, Cork will top the charts with Castle Road once the entire project is completed. It’s only fitting, such is our standing in the game, that Cork are leading the way.

The Cork Camogie new clubhouse development at Castle Road, Cork, under construction. Picture: Denis Minihane.
The Cork Camogie new clubhouse development at Castle Road, Cork, under construction. Picture: Denis Minihane.

The fundraising won’t stop here. The board will have a debt to repay over the coming years but it is manageable if we all do our little bit.

The ‘Sponsor a Block’ was a great initiative and is still open to those offering to contribute, contact Marian 087-2662690.

For just €50 a block it’s nice to see something tangible for your buck.

Another big event will take place on July 7. Cork will hold a Golf Classic in the Muskerry Golf Club and we are asking all former and current camogie players, clubs, and supporters to do their bit and enter a team. It’s a small ask. This pitch is primarily at the disposal of clubs.

For what the game gave us, regardless of whether it was at club or inter-county level, for the current players and what you enjoy today, we should all do our bit. We take things for granted.

We take Castle Road for granted.

The dressing rooms, the pitches, the fixtures, the awards, the good times.

It’s just there. But how is it there?

It’s there because for years’ volunteers have worked their socks off to give us what we have today. You know, there’s satisfaction from coaching a team, you have your highs and success can be measured.

It’s there for all to see. When you’re an administrator you don’t often get the clap on the back for a job well done. Your work is a hard slog behind the scenes, which is very often unrecognised and unappreciated.

Well, let’s applaud this.

Let’s support this pitch/clubhouse development and block fill this Golf Classic with teams and tee boxes.

We look forward to seeing you on the day.

The clubhouse building adjacent to Cork’s Camogie Grounds in Castle Road is making fantastic strides

There’s satisfaction from coaching a team, you have your highs and success can be measured... when you’re an administrator you don’t often get the clap on the back for a job well done. Your work is a hard slog behind the scenes

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