Belfast Telegraph

Owenbeg helps Derry identity

By Declan Bogue

On Saturday Derry hosted the Feile na nÓg in Celtic Park, the countrywide under-14 competition for all the clubs in Ireland and further afield.

It was part of their own celebrations of 125 years of Gaelic games in the county, but by hosting it in the county ground they were left with a bit of a problem of where to put the round one qualifier between Derry and Sligo.

Happily, work on their impressive Owenbeg facility has been completed and they were able to stage it close to what many Derry people hold to be the heart of Gaelic games; the necklace of towns and villages along south Derry.

It made for a lively atmosphere, once people filtered in from the Feile and other events, although the ground emptied gradually as it became apparent that Derry were neither going to hand out an absolute hammering, nor be made any way uncomfortable.

This weekend, it is back to Celtic Park, but the value that hosting league games in Owenbeg will give Derry as they prepare to re-enter Division One of next year's league, will prove to be invaluable.

In recent years Derry have lost a measure of their identity. Owenbeg will allow them to reclaim that.

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