Sean Dolans dismiss media ‘scare stories’

SEAN DOLANS CLG have blasted media reports which suggested the club’s future was in doubt and called on the local community to come out show their support for a club with “huge potential”.

MICHAEL WILSON reports

The Creggan club were forced to cancel last weekend’s proposed Division Three fixture against Drumsurn by the Derry County Board after it emerged they had missed an insurance payment deadline, something which has now been rectified. A spokesman for the club said they fully understood the Co. Board’s decision but they had been disappointed by the reaction in some quarters in what is a very testing climate for all GAA clubs.

“The club would like to clarify the sensationalist headlines which appeared during the week,” explained the spokesman. “Sean Dolan’s finds itself in a difficult financial situtaion, like many clubs throughout the country. The current economic climate has brought about a decline in business at our social club and badly affected many of our sponsors to the extent that we can no longer rely on their financial support.

“The committee made a decision at the beginning of the year not to finance the running of the club by incurring any debt. This meant that meeting the many fees associated with running any club continues to be a struggle but we had to put the best interests of the club first.

“Unfortunately the club missed the insurance payment of March 31st which meant the senior game against Drumsurn had to be cancelled by the county board but that was a decision the club fully understood was made for player welfare reasons and it was the correct decision. This payment has now been made so we are running as normal.”

The recent difficulties come after two years which have been the most successful in the club’s history as they made it into Intermediate football for the first time in their history following a clean sweep of Junior county titles. This, claimed the spokesman, highlights the club’s vast potential if it can gather local support.

Future plans

The club also revealed plans to improve facilities at Piggery Ridge which would benefit the surrounding areas.

“Like any GAA club, Sean Dolan’s needs the support of the local communities to survive. The committee has put together a program of fundraising events which it will be holding over the coming months to meet our operating costs. We know there is a large support for the GAA and Irish culture within the city and we would ask the local people that you show this by joining the club, supporting fund-raisers and offering your time and skills to the club.

“We are ambitious and want to represent the communities of the Creggan, Rosemount, Bogside and Brandywell with pride. We have plans submitted to Croke Park Central Council for the erection of a perimeter fence to protect the club grounds and we are hopeful this will be completed this year.

“We also have an application in place with Sport NI for funding of a second training pitch at the club for 2012. This has already passed the initial Sport NI criteria has been allocated priority funding status. Only last week we had a very positive meeting with the DSD regarding these projects and the club would like to thank Sinn Fein and in particular Kevin Campbell and Martina Anderson for their support with these applications. We will continue to work hard to make these plan a reality.”

The spokesman said it was the club’s intention to forge even stronger links with the local community.

“The club already has an excellent relationship with local community groups and we will continue to build on these to develop stronger links with them. This is the heartbeat of the club and always will be. We want to be at the heart of the community.

“The last couple of years have shown the potential of Sean Dolan’s is huge. The club can develop into something special but only with the support of the local communities,” he added.