GARNISH GAA Club is in the midst of a huge fundraising campaign as they seek to improve their existing club facilities at Cahermore.
The Beara divisional club is holding a tractor fundraiser with a first prize of a 1967 Massey Ferguson 135 for the winner. Club development officer Finbarr Harrington said ticket sales are brisk.
“It is literally motoring along nicely. We have already passed out the €22,000 mark. It is a great idea. We have capped the number of tickets at 500 to give people a better chance of winning. It has generated huge publicity and a great buzz in the area.”
The idea was first mooted by club stalwart Ollie ‘Rue’ O’Sullivan, who at the age of 48 still makes the 320km round trip from Ballincollig to play for his beloved Garnish who will celebrate their centenary in 2027.
The successful fundraiser will help the club establish new facilities for the players and the community.
“We want to redevelop the facilities in Cahermore. We want to do up the pitch and possibly install floodlights. We want to modernise the dressing rooms and put a walk around the grounds.
“We want to develop the facilities to get more people involved.
We want to get the young people back in. The more people we get involved in our club the more chance we have of surviving.”
Garnish has been decimated by emigration and the lack of underage players coming through represents a serious concern.
“Our numbers are very bad. It is very worrying. Our underage players are playing with other clubs at present as we don’t have enough to field a full team. We have no team all the way up to the junior B team. We considered folding.
“The players have been so loyal and great. They wanted to keep going. We eventually made a big decision last year to drop down to the junior B grade.
“It was a good move as it means more games for our players and the county championship format ensures we are playing other teams throughout the county.”
Garnish is a very well-run club with a very strong team of committee members.
“We have a very young chairman in Eric O’Neill. The whole committee is young and they are passionate about their club. This fundraiser is badly needed and it has given everyone a boost.”
Allihies native, Aine Terry O’Sullivan recently won an All-Star following her great year for the Cork senior footballers.
“She is a great role model. It was a well-deserved award. She is so dedicated and talented.”