Now seeking land in Roscommon town for Centre of Excellence
Roscommon GAA County Board is ready to abandon plans to develop the Dermot Earley Centre of Excellence at Runnabracken (Oran) and is instead urgently seeking an alternative site in the Roscommon town area.
It is understood that the County Board and other prospective stakeholders are now actively looking for suitable land in the Roscommon town area with a view to developing the Centre of Excellence there.
Roscommon GAA owns the 54-acre site at Runnabracken, Oran. Planning permission which is in place for the project at Runnabracken is due to expire at the end of 2020.
At Tuesday night’s County Board meeting delegates discussed two major projects – the development of Dr. Hyde Park and the long-mooted Dermot Earley Centre of Excellence.
It is understood that it is now the ‘preferred position’ of the County Board, Roscommon County Council, sponsors, the Connacht Council and all such stakeholders that the project should proceed in the Roscommon town area. It is considered to be a much more suitable location due to proximity to schools, etc.
A Roscommon GAA source said: “All parties are anxious to move forward with a sense of urgency. All efforts will be made now to secure suitable land in the Roscommon area. The GAA owns the Runnabracken land. Runnabracken is no longer the preferred choice but it will be revisited if suitable lands are not sourced. That will be the default position”.
When the Centre of Excellence opens, it will be the new HQ of Roscommon GAA. All preparation work for all Roscommon teams will happen there and all development squads will receive their coaching at that location.
Cllr. Paschal Fitzmaurice is expected to be elected as the new Cathaoirleach of County Roscommon at tomorrow’s (Friday) annual meeting of Roscommon County Council at Áras an Chontae.
Last week, the Roscommon People revealed that a Coalition pact had been agreed at a late-night meeting at Hannon’s Hotel.
The Coalition deal, which has been signed by all parties to it, is set to be implemented when the first meeting of the new County Council takes place this Friday.
A 10-strong alliance will be made up of the six Fianna Fáil councillors, two Fine Gael councillors and Independents Tom Crosby and Laurence Fallon.
The five-year deal will see Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael share power on Roscommon County Council for the first time in many decades.
On a wonderful weekend of 60th anniversary celebrations for Roscommon Gaels GAA Club, last Sunday’s family-oriented gathering at Lisnamult stood out as a striking symbol of all that has been achieved in the past, all that is happening in the present, and all that promises to unfold in the future.
Several hundred people were present for a Family Fun Day which featured a number of underage matches, fun activities for kids and the official opening of the club’s dressing rooms.
Of course the celebratory weekend had many more highlights. Oliver McGuinness Senior received the Hall of Fame Award on Saturday night, and the inaugural Roscommon Gaels All-Stars event, held on Friday night, was a great success. There were matches for the senior teams too, as the club devoted an entire weekend to celebrating the 60th anniversary of its formation.
There was a great atmosphere at Lisnamult on Sunday where there were matches at U-8, U-10 & U-12 level, with a skills’ display by members of the U-6s’ Academy.
The club now has about 800 members of all ages, with 450-500 of those currently involved in a playing capacity.
On Sunday, the official opening of the club’s new dressing rooms at Lisnamult was performed by Barry Molloy, a founder member of the Gaels’ back in 1959.
Mr. Molloy wished all involved with Roscommon Gaels continued success in the future and said that he was honoured to perform the official opening.
The dressing rooms were blessed by Fr. John Cullen (PP, Roscommon) and Very Rev. Canon Eugene McLoughlin.
CE of Roscommon County Council Mr. Eugene Cummins and Mr. Seamus Sweeney, Chairperson, Roscommon GAA County Board both addressed the attendance, complimenting Roscommon Gaels’ on the project and emphasising how important a role the GAA continues to play in Irish society.
Roscommon Gaels’ chairperson Teresa Hession thanked everyone associated with the Lisnamult project and spoke of the ongoing growth of the club. Ms. Hession confirmed that future plans include the provision of a stand, carparking spaces and an astroturf facility. Already, Roscommon Gaels has two full-sized pitches, three juvenile pitches and a number of training areas at the Lisnamult grounds. The venue is made available to all local schools and currently hosts in excess of one hundred games per year.
Ms. Hession thanked Main Contractor Cormac Hoare for doing a fabulous job and also thanked everyone else who had helped in any capacity. Highlighting the key role played by Roscommon Gaels in the community, Ms. Hession thanked the people of Roscommon for their ongoing support.
She added that it is also important to appreciate that the Hyde Centre (at Hyde Park) remains a very important part of the Gaels’ set-up, with that centre hosting events virtually ever day of the week. “It remains a very important community hub”, she said.
Concluding, the Gaels’ chairperson said that further voluntary assistance would be greatly appreciated, as will fundraising support, as Roscommon Gaels looks to continue to develop its facilities and copperfasten its role in the heart of the community.