Doire Colmcille CLG chairman, Mark Higgins has called on everyone within the Glen, Rosemount and Ballymagroarty communities to get behind the club after GAA President Aogan O’Fearghail officially opened the £1.2m Pairc Colmcille facility at Lowry’s Lane on Saturday.
The GAA President was joined by Deputy First minister, Martin McGuinness, SDLP MP for Foyle, Mark Durkan, and Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Elisha McCallion for the opening which was part of a day of fun and sport which culminated in a gala club dinner in the City Hotel.
“We have a very proud tradition stretching back over the last century,” explained the Colmcille chairman, “Saturday was a particularly emotional one for everyone associated, past and present, with the club and I thank all who helped in any way. In particular I would like to thank our funders, Sport NI, the Department of Social Development and the GAA.
“Páirc Cholmcille is the platform on which we hope to build a strong GAA community in the Glen, Rosemount and Ballymagroarty. With the help of our community, we hope to further develop the proud tradition of the GAA and Doire Colmcille CLG and I would encourage everyone to get involved with the club as we move forward.”
The new amenity, which were formally blessed by Fr. Andy Dolan, parish priest of Bellaghy and Rev. David Latimer of First Derry Presbyterian Church, includes a pitch, changing rooms and office and meeting facilities. As part of the official opening, Doire Colmcille dedicated the new committee room to the memory of former club stalwarts, Luke Nangle and his son, Jimmy, who passed away in February 2009 and August 2008 respectively.
The club also dedicated a portrait to the memory of popular underage player, Caolán McCrossan who passed away in February this year, aged just 13 years.
Members of the Nangle family were joined by Caolán’s parents, Kim and Seán as well as his brothers, Garrett and Éoin and sister Rhíanon at Saturday’s opening ceremony. A commemorative bench will also be presented to the club by Joe Higgins, husband of the late Isobel who passed away in 2014. Isobel was the former treasurer of Doire Colmcille and as such was heavily involved in the project.
The Deputy First Minister, Mr McGuinness congratulated all involved with the club.
“Doire Colmcille has played an active role in promoting Gaelic games in the city over the last 40 years,” said Mr McGuinness, “The new facilities will both enhance and enrich the local community serving the people of Rosemount, the Glen and Ballmagroarty. This is the start of the next chapter in the club’s history and it will be more than just a training base and grounds for home matches. I have no doubt as a result of the time and energy being invested by all club members it won’t be long before more Doire Colmcille players are wearing the county colours with pride.”