Wise people bearing gifts is a traditional Christmas image and one that’s certainly come to life for Tyrone GAA’s Garvaghey project.
“We’ve just recently got the great news that two of our Tyrone Councils, Omagh and Dungannon/South Tyrone have committed significant money to Garvaghey” announced County Chairman Ciarán McLaughlin.
At the turn of 2009/10 Tyrone GAA had requested each of Tyrone’s four local Councils to invest £75,000 in the Garvaghey project. Omagh District Council has now awarded the full £75,000 and Dungannon/South Tyrone Borough Council has awarded £25,000, with the possibility of similar support in 2011 and 2012.
“This is the first public money to be put into Garvaghey from any source” explained Liam Nelis, who chairs Tyrone’s Garvaghey Project Group, “and we’re delighted to get it.”
“It shows the true value of local government … and puts down a very clear marker for those parts of central government that really should be investing in what is easily the biggest sports/cultural project underway anywhere in Ireland at the minute.”
The Garvaghey project is well underway with its pitches laid out, floodlights in place and work scheduled to start on its £2.50m building in mid-2011. The building construction alone will provide work for up to 100 people, something hugely significant during the current recession.
“Garvaghey also represents good, proper economic development” Ciarán Mc Loughlin continued, “and will provide real jobs for many people from Tyrone and beyond. People should not lose sight of that other vital outcome. Through Garvaghey Tyrone GAA isn’t just talking a good show: it’s delivering a good show.”
“The gaels of Tyrone, through Club Tyrone and our Garvaghey Patrons scheme, have been brilliantly supportive of what we’re doing here” the Tyrone Chairman concluded.
“Now that two of our Councils are coming on board it puts down a challenge to many others to step up to the plate as well. We look forward to them joining us. In the meantime we’re just very grateful to Omagh and Dungannon/South Tyrone Councils. Maith sibh!”
At this point it is worth pointing out that in a time of severe economic recession Garvaghey is the single biggest sports/cultural capital project currently underway anywhere on the island of Ireland.
• Costing £6.70m it includes six full-size floodlit pitches; ten changing-rooms; team/player support facilities; admin facilities; passive recreation and environmental opportunities; and a major cultural/heritage component
• Garvaghey will cater for all gaelic games, for men and women, boys and girls: four of the changing-rooms will be women-specific
• As well as acting as a training and administration HQ for Tyrone GAA, the project will also have strong cultural/heritage and environmental dimensions
• By early 2011 nearly £2.50m will have been spent by Tyrone GAA on the project: all of this money has been from GAA sources
• Tyrone has a fund-raising strategy in place to complete the entire project