DOIRE COLMCILLE Chairman, Mark Higgins is expecting building work on the club’s new state-of-the-art sports facility at Lowry’s Lane to begin this summer following the announcement that it had secured founding for the ambitious venture.
Planning permission for the new Pairc Cholmcille development in Derry’s Glen area was approved earlier this month and on Wednesday night at a launch night in the City Hotel, the city’s oldest GAA club confirmed that it had been successful in obtaining the next stage of funding applications from Sport N.I.
The new development represents a £500,000 investment in the community of the Glen, Rosemount and the Outer West neighbourhood renewal area.
When completed, Pairc Cholmcille will include a full size GAA pitch, a smaller training area and modern changing facilities and it’s hoped the new grounds will be ready for competition by spring 2013.
The club’s chairman, insists the new plans represent a ‘win-win situation’ for not only the club but for the people of the Glen, Rosemount and surrounding areas.
“We believe Páirc Cholmcille will become a centre for the community, a place for all to come and share in the promotion of Gaelic games and a place for everyone to get involved in healthy and active lifestyles,” said Higgins.
“At a time of recession, when everything seems to be about financial gloom we’re delighted that we can bring a good news story for the sporting fraternity of the city and our club area in particular,” he added.
“We would also like to thank residents for their ongoing support, all the elected representatives for their support and both the staff of Derry City Council and the Planning Service for their diligence and professionalism in the carrying out of their duties.
“Much of this would not have been possible without the ongoing support from both the Ulster GAA Council and the Derry GAA Board.
Higgins went on to praise the work that members of the club have done and their efforts to raise finance for the development.
“The news that we are through to the next stage of the Sport NI funding process, coupled with the hard work of our members, means we can look forward with confidence to completing this exceptional facility for Doire Colmcille.”
Doire Colmcille History
Formerly known as Sarsfields GFC, the club changed its name in 1968 to Doire Colmcille GFC, becoming the leading provider of Gaelic games within the city.
Doire Colmcille has a proud and rich heritage and over the years has nurtured several County players. The club has grown from a single team to provide Gaelic games for both boys and girls at all age groups in its home Glen/Rosemount area.
Prior to the emergence of other GAA clubs in the city, Doire Colmcille found itself as the only club requiring playing facilities and as such never needed to develop its own ground as Celtic Park was always available.
With the emergence of the new clubs, a new challenge was presented to Doire Colmcille – to develop its own facilities.
Over the past 10 years the club has been focussed on developing its home base and in 2003 a Development Committee was established to deliver this goal.
A major funding drive was carried out to prove the club’s financial capabilities. In 2005 the club undertook a major consultation process among the local residents, coming out with a clear mandate in favour of development.