President of Ballycumber GAA Club Peadar Daly and Chairman Vincent Minnock with members of the Ballycumber community.

Work begins on new Activity Centre in Ballycumber

The turning of the sod to mark the commencement of work on the new Ballycumber Activity Centre was performed by President of Ballycumber GAA Club Peadar Daly and Chairman Vincent Minnock recently.

The site was cleared and concrete poured in preparation for the steel structure which will form the new building. The building was designed by Peter Lyons of Kenny Lyons Architects, Tullamore and engineering works are by Alan Carolan, Drumconrath, Co Meath.

The building will measure 48m long and 18m wide with prestressed concrete walls of 5m high. There will also be an astro turf floor, which will be particularly important when the weather makes outdoor activity unviable. The venue, which will be located on a plot of land in Ballycumber GAA Clubs grounds and behind Ballycumber Community Centre, will be suitable for all types of training and exercise. These include training for underage football and hurling, games such as bowls and boccia or exercises like yoga or pilates.

The local community have been invaluable in helping this project, the club said, with a fundraising walk from Croke Park to Ballycumber on the Grand Canal Greenway in September 2021 raising €100,000.

In attendance at the turning of the sod was Fr Brendan O’Sullivan PP, Leamonaghan Parish; Frank Moran, Chairman Offaly County Council; Ann Casey, Principal St Manchan & St Ciaran’s NS, Boher; Padraig Bracken, Director Michael Bracken and Sons, Ballina, Ballycumber, Building Contractors; together with representatives of St Manchan’s Ladies Football Club; Brosna Gaels Hurling; St Manchan Gaels underage football; Ballycumber Tidy Towns; Men's Club; BLC; The Barracks; Ballycumber Running Club; Ballycumber GAA Club; and friends and neighbours.

After Fr Brendan O'Sullivan blessed the site, Ballycumber GAA Chairman Vincent Minnock thanked everyone who was part “of making a dream a reality.”

In particular, the organising committee of Claire Quinn, Dermot Horan, Liam Hackett, Vincent Minnock, Gerry Kelly, and Eamonn Larkin were thanked for their work in securing funding through the fundraising walk and the successful application for funding to Offaly Local Development Co, and borrowings.