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Plans become reality for Ederney, St Joseph’s with Bank’s GAA Force

A Fermanagh based Gaelic club’s vision for a new state of the art club house is set to become a reality due to Ulster Bank’s GAA Force initiative, a community based programme which offers clubs the chance to win support packages to help refurbish and upgrade facilities.

The 30 year old club house at Ederney St Joseph’s GAC, located on the edge of Ederney village was in need of a comprehensive facelift, but existing club funds would only allow a limited refurbishment programme. However when the club won the overall award of £22,000 in Ulster Bank’s inaugural GAA Force programme last October it gave club officials the impetus to drive forward a radical revamp of club facilities.

Since then club committee members have been drawing up plans and designs which will totally remodel and redesign the interior of their building whilst retaining the outside structure which will be upgraded and repainted. Building work is scheduled to start in October and the new club house should be ready for the start of the 2013 season next February.

The new club facilities will dovetail with plans for an additional pitch as well as new perimeter paths for walking, cycling and running which will be open all year round for the local community to enjoy.

“Winning the top prize in Ulster Bank’s GAA Force has made a huge difference to our club and I would urge other GAA clubs to apply for this year’s programme before the closing date on 5th October.” said Club Chairman Sean Donnelly.

“Over the past number of years we have been fund raising for our new pitch as well as seeking funding support from government bodies and departments. Our success in Ulster Bank GAA Force really spurred us on to go the extra mile and raise further funds to fully refurbish the club house. We held a very successful community festival event at the end of July and the monies generated from this combined with our Ulster Bank GAA Force cash award will contribute hugely to our upcoming building work costs.

“Ulster Bank’s GAA Force initiative really does reach sport at grassroots level and at St Joseph’s we simply couldn’t have considered such major building work without GAA Force cash support. The money will enable us to completely remodel and refurbish the entire interior of the building to allow for much larger changing areas including facilities for ladies GAA teams, a brand new and more extensive kitchen as well as a multi-purpose function and meeting room.” explained Sean Donnelly.

“These major changes and improvements to both our club house, pitches and the planned new community walkways will create a legacy for the future and we believe will help us attract new members to help build and develop the club for the next 30 years.”

Entries for this year’s Ulster Bank GAA Force close on Friday 5th October and once again, one lucky GAA club will receive a support package worth £22,000 and four runners-up (one from each province) will receive a support package worth £4,400 each.

Calling clubs to enter Ulster Bank GAA Force Ambassador, Seán Óg Ó hAilpín,said: “I visited the winning clubs last year and was so impressed with their support and the role they play in the local community. Ulster Bank GAA Force offers clubs the opportunity to improve their facilities for members and the surrounding community. I would encourage all clubs to enter to be in with a chance to win one of the support packages.”

Ulster Bank GAA Force is open to GAA clubs across the island of Ireland. Clubs can register until October 5 on www.ulsterbank.com/gaa. The first 100 clubs to register for the initiative will also receive a support package worth £ 100. The winning clubs will be announced in November.

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