If Ballyarnett’s most famous visitor, Amelia Earhart, was to land in Gallagher’s Field in 2016 a much changed landscape would greet the American aviation pioneer and author.
The most noticeable change would be the presence of Na Magha CLG, Derry City’s only dedicated hurling and camogie club who will this weekend alter the landscape still further with the official opening of their new £700,000 club house.
The new base will radically change the outreach of Na Magha enabling us to form part of the social fabric of the community, much like many of our counterparts throughout Ireland.
No game within Derry City can be traced back further than hurling many within the local club still believe it is astonishing that it took until 2010 for the club to secure their pitch in 2010 and, finally, this weekend the new clubhouse.
The wait ends on Saturday with what, according to club Executive Committee member, David Flood, will be the realisation of a dream for many of the club stalwarts who have been working hard to establish the club since it’s foundation in 1982.
“The opening of the club house finally delivers the fit for purpose, first class facilities that our children, membership and the surrounding community deserve,” explained Mr. Flood.
“This will not only allow every girl and boy from under 6 to senior level to aspire and achieve their dreams on the field, but it will also facilitate a feeling of ownership and belonging within the club membership. The new base will radically change the outreach of Na Magha enabling us to form part of the social fabric of the community, much like many of our counterparts throughout Ireland.”
Mr. Flood said the benefits of the clubhouse would reach beyond the sporting field and said it will prove an asset for the whole community.
“This will be a home not only for our camogs and Hurlers but also our dancers, musicians, language students and others. This day was driven by a determined group who ploughed on for many years in the background whilst our coaches and players strived for success on the field.
“We must be grateful to all involved in this project, remembering none of this facility would have been possible without the invaluable long term help and financial contribution from the Department for Communities, Derry City and Strabane District Council, The Big Lottery, Sports NI, Awards 4 All, The GAA and of course our own development draws. “We must also acknowledge the invaluable long term help of Outer North’s Greater Shantallow Area Partnership. This was a collective effort by dedicated Na Magha people who can now share in the tremendous achievement.”
The Department for Communities contributed a total of £630,000 with Derry City and Strabane District Council contributing £50,000, The GAA £10,000 and Big Lottery £10,000.