There will be big celebrations this Sunday, as the day marks the long-awaited official opening of the new clubhouse at Pairc Ni Chnaimsighe, Straid for CLG Iorras.
The impressive facilities on show today are a far cry from the present club’s humble beginnings in 1969 with the now famous meeting in Danny Friel’s barn on that third Sunday in September.
That first meeting was held because it was obvious that Clonmany Parish had a wealth of talented players in Gaelic football but had no club to play with. In the previous year, Urris had provided 13 players to the victorious Carndonagh panel in the county
The team chose red and black as their colours, as these were the colours of the great
Down team of the time. The pitch was Mickey Kearney’s (Brian) field in Leenan. This was home to many a match until the club bought their own pitch in Straid in 1989.
The old clubhouse served its purpose for several years but with the increase in the volume of Underage teams (from U8 to U16 for both boys and girls), Ladies, Minors and a Reserve and Senior men’s team, plans were put in place to fundraise with the view to the development of a new clubhouse to cater for same.
2012 ended with the club being granted planning permission for the building of a new clubhouse at the present grounds in Straid as well as receiving substantial funding from the Sports Capital Programme to help with the project.
The award of the building project went to local man George Gill.
The new clubhouse was ready for the start of this season. The teams are now ensconced in new surrounds that can welcome visiting teams and supporters to a fit for purpose building that the club and members can be proud of for years to come.
The new facilities include four dressing rooms, referee’s room, first aid room, disabled toilets, kitchen and meeting room.
A spokesperson for the club said the fact that the whole project progressed so smoothly “is a great credit to all the men who worked on the site, our Development Committee and all who helped with fund raising down the years.”
Everyone at CLG Iorras wishes to thank all in the Clonmany parish, Inishowen and further afield who supported their development fund draws.
As no club functions without numerous willing helpers behind the scenes week in and week out, CLG Iorras said it owes a huge vote of thanks to many from sponsors, players, ticket and lotto sellers, bingo workers, everyone who helps out on match days or with any of the teams - they thank you all.
The club hopes everyone will enjoy these superb new facilities for many generations to come.
The clubhouse will be officially opened this Sunday, September 28th by President of the Ulster GAA Council, Mairtin MacAibhne.
The underage members, U8’s and U10’s teams will begin the day’s events by parading out from Centra, Clonmany with the Muff Accordion Band to the club’s ground at 12.30pm. (All children are asked be in the car park for 12.15/12.20pm). From 1.00pm, there will be an underage blitz football programme (U13 to U16’s) and all players for the blitzes are asked to be at the clubhouse from 12.30pm. At 2.00pm there will be a Ladies challenge match. The blessing and official Opening of the clubhouse is planned for 3.00pm.
Following the official opening and blessing, the senior men will play Letterkenny Gaels in a challenge match, planned for 4.00/4.30pm. Over the course of the afternoon there will be a variety of games and competitions, as well as refreshments galore and everyone is welcome.