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  • Northside West

Cabra GAA club in pitch plea

Wednesday, 18th April, 2018 8:00am
Cabra GAA club in pitch plea

Club secretary Seamas McGratten.

Cabra GAA club in pitch plea

Club secretary Seamas McGratten.

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Adam Daly

A CABRA GAA club is calling on the Department of Education to restore a pitch promised to it 15 months ago.

Naomh Fionnbarra signed over its all weather pitch to allow a permanent building to be constructed for Gaelscoil Bharra beside the club.

The Northside Irish school had been waiting over a decade to move out of prefab structures and the GAA club was only too happy to help out. However, club secretary, Séamas McGrattan, says the deal was that Department of Education would build a new pitch once construction ended.

And 15 months later, the club is still waiting.

“We are delighted to see the new school now up and running and the fantastic facility they now call home,” he said.

“As part of the agreement a new all weather pitch was to be built for the club, which was to be completed by last October. But the work has not been finished and all contractors and sub-contractors have been off site for a number of weeks. As we understand the only hold up is money.”

McGrattan said that without a pitch Naomh Fionnbarra has had to rent halls and private pitches to train, putting a financial strain on the club while also affecting performances on the field.

“Our 16 teams are struggling to train in a hall or on private pitches that the club simply cannot afford to continue to rent,” he said.

“It's having a really bad effect on the older teams particularly. The pitch was due in October and then they told us it would be January, so we didn’t book anywhere to train.

“When January came around we had to go looking for places and everywhere was booked. We are struggling to get anywhere at all.

“Like any club we haven't got the money to be spending but the teams have to train. We could be spending that money on a lot of other things.”

In an effort to bring the project to a finish, the club organised a protest outside the Dáil at the end of March.

“The aim was to put pressure on politicians,” McGrattan explained. “There has been a bit of movement so we’re hoping it will be resolved soon.

“As a result of the protest we have been in touch with an official in Tullamore who has been advising us so at least we know a bit more about our situation.’’

In response to queries from the Northside People, a spokesperson for a Department of Education and Skills said that they delay is not because of funding issues. 

“Some site works remain to be completed in respect of the Gaelscoil Bharra project including completion of the pitch and reinstatement work to the car park of the adjacent GAA club,” a spokesperson said.

“The Department is fully aware of the issues and is working to have these site works completed as quickly as possible. The Department has no funding issues with regards the completion of the building project for Gaelscoil Bharra.”

 

The club organised  a protest outside the Dail.

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