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Future looks bright for Lurgan as St Peter's land cash windfall


By John Campbell

It seems there is to be no end to the current explosion of success that has overtaken the GAA in Lurgan.

With the All-Ireland Colleges' Hogan Cup having just taken up residence in St Ronan's College, plans have now been unveiled that will see the local St Peter's club transformed.

And just to complete a major hat-trick of achievements, St Paul's clubman and Armagh county star Andrew Murnin has been chosen as the Quinn Building Products monthly merit award winner for March.

The triple boost for the GAA in the town has already spawned the belief that more success could be on the way and right now there is a distinctly rosy hue to the future.

The ambitious St Peter's development plan will mark a significant step forward for the club and it is to be underpinned by a £50,000 boost from The Alpha Programme.

St Peter's, already a well-established community hub that provides a wide range of facilities and activities for its 430 members, the wider community, local schools and other sporting organisations, is now set to become an even more vibrant sporting unit.

The Alpha Programme, now in its 10th year, distributes funding through the Landfill Communities Fund to a range of community-led and biodiversity projects within a 15-mile radius of the landfill site at Mullaghglass on the outskirts of Lisburn.

Alpha Resource Management, a waste management and green energy company within the Lagan Group, developed the programme in 2008.

St Peter's plan to use their funding package to enhance spectator facilities with the erection of a new stand as well as transforming unused spaces within the grounds into wildlife areas.

This new development phase adds to the club's existing offering of a gym, social facilities, boxing hall, youth club and nursery.

The provision of the new stand will significantly increase opportunities for larger sporting events and the club is also aiming to hold a number of film screenings and concerts once work is complete.

Richard Rogers, who oversees the Alpha Programme, commented: "We are delighted to support St Peter's GAC in their ongoing efforts to provide top-class sporting and community facilities for the people of Lurgan. We hope that the new stand, alongside the environmental improvements, will be another big boost to their activities."

David Wilson, a member of the St Ronan's College management team, is a St Peter's club dynamo while Aaron Findon, who is currently involved with the Armagh county squad, is also a club member.

"It's great to see St Peter's moving ahead. This will be a tremendous boost for the club," he maintained.

And for Murnin, whose superb performances for the Orchard County earned him the Ulster GAA Writers' Association merit award for March, St Ronan's success coupled with the St Peter's boost marks a double bonus for Lurgan.

"It's tremendous just to take in what has happened over the past few days. While I was delighted to receive my own award, I was thrilled for St Ronan's and obviously it's pleasing that St Peter's are getting the opportunity to boost their facilities," said Murnin.

"It's encouraging to see new talent coming to the fore as well as resources being made available for development. This will all serve to enhance interest in GAA."

Belfast Telegraph


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