Sean Dolans Gaelic club in Creggan is getting back on its feet again thanks to the efforts of the local community.
The club suffered a major setback in December 2011 when its clubhouse was destroyed in an arson attack and since then the playing facilities at Piggery Ridge have been out of action.
Jim McDaid, treasurer of the club, said the club is now “back in business” and is working to improve its facilities.
Mr McDaid made the comments as club members, community workers and volunteers from the local community gathered at the club on Wednesday to clean up the all weather training pitch ahead of the start of the new season.
The club official said the arson attack was a major setback for the club but insisted that “Dolans is back” and will continue to grow.
“The involvement of the local community and local groups has been fantastic,” he said. “Dolans has always been a part of the community here in Creggan and the community is helping us get back in business. We are clearing the all weather training pitch so we can get the youth teams back training again. We are using the Bishop’s Field at the moment but that costs us so it will be great to have our own facilities up and running again,” he added.
Mr McDaid also said the club’s plans to rebuild are progressing. “We are in negotiations with the county board and with Croke Park about building new facilities and those negotiations are at an advanced stage.
“We have had a tough year and we have lost the pitch but we want to let people know that we are not going anywhere and that Dolans is back again and we will rebuild,” he said.
Sinn Féin councillor Colly Kelly took part in the clean up operation and said the club plays an important role in the community. “We need to get the pitch back in action for the local community.
“It is great to see the local community rallying around and helping with this clean-up to get the club back in business. There is no doubt that Sean Dolans is back up and running again and playing an important role in the community, particularly for young people in this area, where there has been a real lack of sporting provision in the past.
“The GAA is the backbone of this community and the community is behind Dolans,” he said.