BY CHRIS MCNULTY
GAA PRESIDENT Liam O’Neill has confirmed the allocation of a €250,000 grant towards the development of the Donegal GAA Centre of Excellence in Convoy.
The Co Laois native visited the site on Monday and he confirmed to Club Tir Chonaill members in attendance that the allocation had been approved by the GAA’s management committee.
This news comes after the fund-raising Club Tir Chonaill raised the sum of €125,000 required to activate the drawdown of the €250,000 from Croke Park.
That target was met and last Tuesday the Co Treasurer Grace Boyle and the Development Officer Michael McMenamin travelled to Croke Park where they met with the GAA’s finance chief Tom Ryan. By that stage some €126,214 had been gathered and money continues to come in.
“Donegal put in a huge amount of extra effort to raise this money,” Liam O’Neill said on Monday.
“It is a great project that is being managed by people who know their business.
“The project is well worth it and the feel-good factor in Donegal will make the fundraising efforts a little easier now.
“It is a credit to the people who put their shoulder to the wheel to raise this money.
“I am delighted to get the opportunity to see this first hand. The facility looks fantastic and I am proud of everyone for looking to the future. It is a great time to press ahead now.
“It is hard work and we know that, so we have to acknowledge that. Fund-raising is a real drive that can sap a huge amount of energy.”
Club Tir Chonaill was led by former Co Chairman Danny Harkin. “There was fantastic commitment by everyone involved to reach the target and this is a credit to everyone involved,” Mr Harkin said.
“We had a great team on board and it was a very successful drive.”
Grace Boyle said that financial people in Croke Park had paid tribute to Donegal’s diligent fund-raising efforts. “We were delighted to go to Dublin with our target having been met,” she said.
Two pitches at the 26-acre site, just outside Convoy on the main Convoy-Stranorlar road, are already sewn out and ready for action, with Donegal GAA officials now keen for additional works to be completed to get them to a state of being able to host the county’s teams.
Next on the menu, however, is the installation of floodlights and perimeter fencing on the two pitches which are currently close to being completed. The allocation from the GAA will go towards these works.