Ballincollig AFC is 50 years old but with no home base can't apply for grants

With no lease for the club's Landing Field pitches, they can't be fully developed
Ballincollig AFC is 50 years old but with no home base can't apply for grants

Ballincollig's David Sweeney makes a clearance in an MSL game at the Landing Field. Picture: Larry Cummins.

BALLINCOLLIG AFC, the club that launched the careers of Republic of Ireland internationals Liam Miller and Colin Healy, say they have been left in limbo by a dispute between two State bodies.

Fifty years after their foundation, Ballincollig remain unable to apply for grants because the freehold of their pitches remains held by Cork City Council.

Miller, who died tragically from cancer four years ago, current Cork City boss Healy and veteran City keeper Mark McNulty are the best-known players Ballincollig have produced. 

The Department of Defence agreement, upon the closure of Murphys' Barracks, with the then County Council was to gift land to Ballincollig AFC 20 years ago but they are still waiting for it to transpire despite applications for leasehold from the Councils.

Without a lease, the club cannot apply for grants (FAI, Government or lotto), and they believe it is only down to the hard work and effort of key club volunteers and parents that we are still here today.

Ballincollig AFC have also launched an online petition with an initial aim of 1,000 signatures.

The hope is that something can be done quickly for the girls and boys of the community with the overriding and strong message being; “We are limbo. We have no home. We need your support.” 

“Obviously Ballincollig AFC got nothing because we still don’t have a lease for the landing Field,” says Mick Noonan of Ballincollig AFC.

“I’m at the point where I don’t care anymore. There’s an agreement between the Minister of Defence and the council, they documented an agreement to gift land to Ballincollig AFC. The council have yet to make good on same… 20 years later 

Ballincollig AFC is almost 50 years old. Yet has no home. Because we have no home, or more correctly, no lease, we cannot apply for a grant. Never could.

“50 years and no support. Just hard work, leaky prefabs, and fundraising at local level. Local politicians claim to support but have nothing in the results column.”

Their difficulty was underlined this week when Ballincollig rugby and GAA clubs received a combined €200,000 in funding, but the soccer club received nothing and believe they have been let down by local representatives.

“More than 1900 clubs and schools will benefit from sports capital grants to either build new facilities or upgrade existing ones,” Councillor Colm Kelleher posted on Facebook.

“In Cork, almost €14 million has been awarded to clubs and schools which will make significant improvements to each club to further their development and enhance their facilities.

"My own local community, I was delighted to see that the Ballincollig GAA Club received €110k which will be used for flood lighting on the main pitch. Additionally, the Ballincollig RFC received over €89k which will be used to install LED floodlighting.” 

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo 130Echo 130


Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here


Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more