Operation Transformation: Tourmakeady

On Tuesday last, A grant of up to €62,065 was sanctioned for CLG Thuar Mhic Éadaigh. The announcement was made by Minister of State, Michael Ring.

The funding will assist the club as they get ready for Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta which will be happening on the shores of Lough Mask between the 2nd and 5th of June.

The grant which is being provided comes under the 20-year strategy for the Irish language 2010-2030.

Photo: Darragh Berry

Speaking after the announcement, Minister Ring said he was “very pleased to welcome this funding to Tourmakeady and it will help to encourage young people to take part in sports events while using Irish to communicate.”

Another person who was very pleased to welcome the funding, was club secretary, Michael Lang and he was very thankful to Minister Ring for all he has done for the club.

“Anything we have asked for from Michael Ring, he has delivered each time. He has been great in securing these grants and getting them gives us a massive morale boost to finish the job off properly. Without him, our club would not be in the position it’s in. He has remembered the people of the West” he told me when I spoke with him the other day.

That position Mr. Lang talks about is very much a healthy one. Tourmak’s preparation for Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta means that their whole club has been transformed over the last few years.

This transformation has seen a brand new state of the art club house being built, the introduction of a second football pitch and other pieces of infrastructure that will be vital come June.

Photo: Darragh Berry

“There are two elements to the grant we applied for this time. The first element is funding to finish the pitches. That means buying goalposts, ball stop nets, dugouts and, if the budget stretches far enough, another scoreboard” he said.

Mr. Lang further explained that “the second element of the grant was to finish off the car park. It is directly opposite the national school and both the GAA club and the school will be able to benefit from it because currently, there is no safe place for parking at the moment.

“There will be coach parking, handicapped spots, all in all there will about 60 new parking spaces and that will come in useful not just for the club but for the National and Secondary Schools.”

The two schools and the pitch are all within a stone’s throw (literally) of each other, and this is something that Mr. Lang finds really special.

“It’s like one big triangle and the more progress that is made each day, the more tighter the triangle gets. It definitely gives the village a sense of connectivity.”

Further connecting the triangle, a pedestrian walk-way is being completed from the local Secondary School, Colaiste Mhuire, right up to the Community Hall.

The club have not only relied on grants in the building of the new facilities but have also been conducting major fundraisers themselves to aid the process.

The race is well and truly under way now to get everything finished in time for the Comórtas. The second football pitch, which lies on the grounds of the Secondary School, has been re-sodded and re-seeded and will be ready for action soon.

Photo: Darragh Berry

The existing clubhouse has been completely revamped and refurbished and contains four dressing rooms, two of which are brand new, a new referee room, a new kitchen and a new sports hall. Mr. Lang explains:

Preparation has been really good, we are on track and that is solely down to the many volunteers and the hard work they put in every day.

It has been three good, hard years. We got the Comórtas in March 2014 and we had already started fundraising the month previous.

Work on the second pitch started in October ’15 and work on the clubhouse began last year also. To watch the progress step by step each day, it’s really special and now we have something everyone should be proud of.

A big black and white crest is planted on the clubhouse and portrays the ‘all-in’ community attitude that the people of Tourmakeady have taken on with this project.

Photo: Darragh Berry

“The clubhouse is just fantastic and we have John O’Brien (chief contractor) and David Lally (engineer) to thank for that. David is a member of the club and has been a great player too in recent years.

Tourmakeady looked like they were heading for Junior last year, but a heroic performance against Kilmaine meant they kept their Intermediate tag for another year. Mr. Lang believes that the spirit and determination that the football team has, transfers over to the club’s committee.

“It’s like a great sporting team, everyone has great skill and fantastic work ethic and everyone pulls together to work as a team and we are getting great reward from our hard work.”

Michael will have to turn his focus away from the construction soon as the club prepare for the Comórtas and also faces plenty of challenges in both league and championship.

We’re going in as a Junior team in the Comórtas. We are in the semi-finals already as hosts and will face either the Mayo or Galway champions.

We’re going well in the league also, so the aim for this year would be, to win the League, win the Comórtas and retain our Intermediate status again.

The developments on-going in Tourmakeady at the moment are too big for an Intermediate team. Can the 2006 and 2010 Intermediate Champions replicate the winning ways of days gone by? Which would turn what has been a great transformation for Tourmakeady into an even better one.

3 thoughts on “Operation Transformation: Tourmakeady

  1. Well done to all connected to this project.I remember well when we won a County Junior title in 1979 and then an Intermediate Title in 1982. Those were the days.

  2. I have been driving into and around Tourmakeady the last year or so for work and I wondered where the lolly was coming from for all the work because its a big enough project. Well done to all involved especially the local community. A very beautiful part of Mayo and there are a few parts of the county that when I am there, present, looking at these special places I think of the people and the landscape and I automatically think of Croke Park eventually. It’s mildly neurotic in a sentimental kind of way I suppose but by September it becomes a full blown psychosis……

  3. Well done Tourmakeady. A great village with very community spirited people. Best of luck with Comortas.

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