BY CHRIS MCNULTY
TONIGHT will be a proud night for members of the St Mary’s club in Convoy as the first competitive game is played under the impressive new floodlights at their Pairc Naomh Mhuire ground.
Donegal and Fermanagh lock horns in their opening game of the Ulster Minor League campaign and it is being played at the Convoy venue.
Club members are all gearing up for a historic night at a ground that has become one of the top facilities in the county.
68 lights now stand imposingly around the ground and at 500 lux they are the second strongest set of floodlights in the county – behind only MacCumhaill Park in terms of strength.
The lights were put up at the tail end of 2011 and last Thursday they were connected to power for the first time. The local St Mary’s side played Castlederg in a challenge game with this Thursday’s meeting of Donegal and Fermanagh the first competitive match under them.
The €170,000 lights are part of an ongoing development at the ground, with the club also harbouring ambitious plans to erect a 300-seater stand on the far side of the pitch, which has become a regular venue for All-County League and Championship play-offs and finals in recent times.
“It is great for the club to be looking forward to this occasion, it’s fantastic that we have such a game to be played under the lights this week,” said Oliver Prunty.
The club is currently selling tickets for a fundraising development draw which takes place on Easter Sunday. As a result, the official switching on of the lights won’t take place until later in the year.
Still, it will be a night to remember and it will be particularly so for St Mary’s chairman Oliver Prunty – as he also happens to be a part of Stephen Friel’s backroom team with the Donegal minors.
Last year it cost approximately €1.5 million to run Donegal GAA, an increase of some fifty per-cent on the...