Derry funding boost
DERRY GAA has been given a major boost with the announcement of significant funding by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development towards a 4G facility at Owenbeg Derry GAA Centre.
The county has secured almost £766,000 in grant aid from the department through the ARC Northwest Programme - set-up to assist rural communities in the council areas of Derry City, Limavady, Omagh and Strabane.
The money will be used to develop a fourth generation artificial multi-use recreational surface of approximately 14,000 square metres.
Derry GAA chairperson, John Keenan, commented: "This announcement of funding from DARD will assist Derry GAA in providing a first class full size 4G surface at Owenbeg to address issues such as health and well-being, community cohesion and good relations.
"With the initial support of the National Infrastructure Committee of the GAA, we are delighted to have been able to tap into this source of funding from DARD. The net result will be that we can deliver an important strategic piece of infrastructure for the community at no cost to clubs or county.
"The beneficiaries of these facilities will ultimately be our entire county and its local communities who I know will keep with the strong ethos of the GAA."
On a recent visit to Derry to launch Féile Peil na nÓg, GAA President Liam O'Neill expressed his delight at the news.
"Once again Derry GAA has shown its innovation and is making the best use of the funding streams available that traditionally were not sought by GAA," said O'Neill.
Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle O'Neill commented: "I am delighted that ARC North West through the Rural Development Programme have awarded £765,595 to Derry County Committee, towards their strategic development at the Owenbeg site.
"This project when complete will provide a year round facility for men and women of all ages and abilities and deliver active participation in physical activity which will contribute immensely to the health and well-being across this rural community."
Work has begun to assemble a design team for the project which is due to commence next month. It is envisaged that the project will be completed and available for recreational use within 12 months.