Upgraded facilities at Rossa Park   03/08/2017

O'Donovan Rossa GAA Club recently upgraded their facilities in the Rossa Park by constructing new fencing, footpaths and planting a new pitch which ensures their new playing surface and surrounds is amongst the elite in the county.The progressive club now boast state of the art facilities which greatly pleases their diligent club chairman John Carmody. "We are very happy with how our work is progressing at present. It is far from finished however. We have many more stages of our development project to complete. We have a lot more upgrading to do within the club. It is a very exciting time. We are working hard to provide great facilities for the current players and our future players. We are delighted however with the quality of the pitch, while the fencing carried out all along the ground was a great finish also," said the hard working chairman. Work will commence on stage two of their exciting development plans in the coming months revealed the chairman. "Stage two will involve work on our banks which will improve the viewing area for the supporters. There will also be a lot of work carried out on all the surrounding land adjacent to the Rossa Park which will further improve the amenities for the public."Games and training sessions have already been held in recent weeks in the pristine new Rossa Park surface. Players have been delighted with the slick new surface according to John. "A few games have been played in recent weeks to test the new pitch. The response has been very positive from the players. We will be closing the pitch now in the coming weeks to give it a chance ahead of next season once again. The whole process took almost twelve months. We planted the grass in July 2016 which took time to bed in and get used to the elements etc. The fencing was put in over the winter when there was less urgency. We were delighted with all the various contractors. Floods of Wexford did the ground work, the paths were done by Aidan Hayes, while James Healy acted as our consultant. The whole project came in on time and on budget. We are delighted with the finished product."Various changes have been made to the Rossa Park pitch which had successfully stood the test of time since the last major works were carried out on the pitch back in the 1950's. "We have widened the pitch. It is now over 83 metres wide and it is 155 metres long. It was also completely drained all over the winter, so now that if there is a heavy rainfall there won't be a drop of water on the pitch. We used the most modern drainage system on the new pitch. There was a real need to update the pitch. It had served us tremendously well but it was due an upgrade. There was a bit of remedial work carried out over the years but a major job was required. The sod was very old and I suppose we have to move with the times. There is a huge onus on the club to continuously move forward and not to fall behind. It is our duty to ensure the facilities are up to scratch for the growing membership."The pitch is due to close in the coming weeks in order to give it more time to recover ahead of what is expected to be a busy year next season for the pitch. John is hoping to mark the official opening with a big game. "We will have an official opening next season. It will be great to showcase our pitch to a wider audience. It will be great to have the new pitch working full time. The players are desperate to play on such a pristine surface."John was keen to pay tribute to his fellow committee members and O'Donovan Rossa supporters who all contributed to making the project such a resounding success. A huge amount of voluntary work was undertaken by a plethora of club members in order to ensure the whole project came in on budget. "We raised the finance through a variety of methods. We did a lot of fundraising ourselves eg through the weekly club lotto, weekly bingo nights and the annual golf classic. We got a grant from the Sports Council and the Munster Council which was very beneficial. We are very grateful to all the members who have helped us in anyway down through the years. We are very thankful also to the Munster Council and the Sports Council. Their grants went a long way in ensuring we covered the costs of the whole project. We got no loans whatsoever which is great for the club going forward."O'Donovan Rossa now boast very impressive facilities within the club. They possess an all-weather pitch, a state of the art new pitch, training pitches, pavilion for holding functions, modern dressing rooms and gymnasium. John is very proud of the advances the club have made off the pitch. "We are very proud of our facilities. We won't rest on our laurels however. We have more projects to complete with regards training pitches within the next two years etc. Our playing membership is very strong and growing. It is important we provide the best facilities in order to meet the demands and expectations of our players."

     By John Bohane

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