BY its members’ own admission, Lifford’s Naomh Padraig club has been languishing for almost two decades and not only has that taken its toll on the facilities, but also on the atmosphere around Pairc MacDiarmada.
On Monday night, another step on the road to rectifying both issues was taken as the club launched its club grounds development draw, which, it is hoped, will help raise around 50,000e, as they bid to reach a total fund of 370,000e in order to bring their facilities up to modern day standards, which, in turn, they hope will help ‘put the spark’ back into the club.
“The launch went very well, we had a good attendance of about 200 at it and a lot of positive feedback, so it’s looking good at the minute,” observed club chairman, John McDermott.
“It will be some job when it’s finished, but it’s something we needed to do.
“It’s a big job, but we needed to put the spark back into the club.
“It had been languishing for some time and it’s difficult to attract people down when your facilities aren’t great.”
The development plans are ambitious, but Naomh Padraig members believe they had to be in order to breath new life back into the club.
Their plans include the construction of two sand-based pitches. One is on the existing playing pitch and the other, a brand new training pitch adjoining the main pitch. The plan also includes the refurbishment of the existing clubhouse and dressing rooms. This includes the addition of two extra dressing rooms, disabled toilets and a conference room.
“Every club we go to has better facilities than us. There hasn’t been much done in the last 15 years, but it’s 2018 now and it’s time we had a high class facility and that’s the way we’re looking at it,” Mr McDermott explained, before pointing out that they aren’t far from achieving their overall aims.
“We have about 91,500e to raise and we’re hoping to raise 50,000e through the draw, which we launched on Monday night,” he added.
“We have 175,000e in grants so far and have raised 102,000e of our own. The total project, to get it to the standard we want, is around 370,000e.
“At the minute we have enough to get the project to where we need it, but to get it to where we want it we need to raise about another 91,500e.
“But it’s all well and good us organising a draw, that’s the straightforward part, we need ticket sellers and people to buy them and the feedback we have got so far is positive, the local community seems to want to get back involved in the club again,” he concluded.
Alongside the draw, the club also has 17 members so far invested in the 1K club, which sees individuals donate 1,000e to the club, and they are confident of adding to that number soon.