Gracedieu Development

"A Work In Progress"

Phase 1-3 The Move to Gracedieu

It is not accidental that our Club’s unprecedented success on the playing fields over the past five years has coincided with the development of our fantastic facilities at Gracedieu. The move to Gracedieu in 2008 coincided with the capturing of our first County and Munster Senior Hurling titles.

However this did not happen by chance and was being planned back as far as the start of the new millenium. The committee at the time realised that if we were to develop and realise our true potential we would have to acquire additional playing facilities to cater for our ever increasing juvenile and adult membership. While Cleaboy had served us well down through the years it was becoming obvious that a club of our size could not survive with only one playing field . At times up to four teams were often training there at the same time while some juvenile teams would have to use De La Salle College fields. Thanks to the generosity of the brothers the club always had the use of the fields in De La Salle College, the ever iminent threat of the College becoming a lay school with the eventual departure of the brothers meant that we were not sure how long this arrangement would continue.

In 2003 a brave decision was made by the committee of the time to sell the existing De La Salle GAA Centre in Stephen Street and look to purchase a greenfield site where we would develop a ‘state of the art’ and ‘purpose built’ facility. The old centre which was previously the home of the De La Salle PPU had been taken over by the GAA Club in 1996 and completely renovated. This decision to sell while unpopular in some quarters coincided with a tax designation on the buiding which significantly increased its value and presented the club with an opportunity which would never arise again.The De La Salle Brothers under the guidance of the visionary Brother Stephen fully supported this move and we will remain forever grateful to them for their continued help and support.

In 2004 having spent over a year looking for a suitable site the club was fortunate to eventually purchase 16 acres in Gracedieu East (not too far ‘as the crow flies’ from our existing field in Cleaboy). The land was on the old ‘Kearney’ farm in Gracedieu which was now owned by Purcell Cattle Exporters. The club is particularly indebted to Des Purcell of Purcell Auctioneers who helped us find and negotiate the purchase of the site.

The contract for the pitches was awarded to Kehoe Brothers of Boley, Co Wexford while the contract for the building went to Tom O’Brien Construction of Bilberry, Waterford City.Work eventually started in Autumn 2004 and was quite slow initially ( a lot of rock to be broken and soil to be shifted). Grass was sown in Autumn 2005 with some games and training sessions taking place in 2007.A full move took place in Summer 2008.

Our development has enabled us to cater for our increasing numbers of players and teams, and to establish our Camogie club.To date we have spent €2.6m on Phases 1 to 3 which involved acquiring a suitably located sixteen acre site, developing our pitches and clubhouse (complete with dressing rooms,indoor hall and anciliary facilities) at Gracedieu,while also upgrading our second home at Cleaboy.

This has been financed by: Reinvestment of the funds raised from the sale of the old Stephen St Centre,Club Supporters Funds , Grants (National Lottery, GAA and Local Authority) , and Bank Loans.

We would like to thank all of the people who have helped us so far, particularly those who have already joined our ‘Club De La Salle’ scheme, which is our only source of internal fund raising for our development.

We currently rely on our donations scheme to fund both our loan repayments and future development plans.

Phase 4 Floodlight Hurling Wall / Training Area

The Club’s committee is conscious that the continued success of our teams requires the provision of the best of facilities. As our club membership grows we need to develop facilites which are purpose built and suited to the needs of our members. We were recently successful in our application for Sports Capital Funding and are now ready to start into Phase 4 of our development plan which involves the construction of a Hurling Wall and training area. This will all be floodlit for winter use. We also plan to drain our existing juvenile pitch.

This development is crucial to the development of our adult players and provision of a proper player pathway for our young players

We estimate that this phase of our project will cost approximately€80k. We have already been granted €50k from the Department of Sport. In order to raise the additional €30k and continue to pay our existing commitments we need to increase the membership of our ‘Club De La Salle ‘ scheme by 50 to a total of 200 members.

We therefore need 50 additional De La Salle supporters to donate €5 per week to the Scheme.

We will collect €5 cash per week or you can pay through the bank by standing order. The choice is yours The Club may also benefit through the Tax Relief Scheme available as a result of your donations. Advantages available to Club De La Salle members include:

(1) Entry to Deise Draw

(2) Right to apply through the club for tickets to all Munster and All Ireland Series Championship matches

(3) The opportunity to show your club allegience (all members will be publicly acknowledged in the Clubhouse and receive special car stickers)

This development will benefit all our players young and old

For €5 per week you can help us

We need your support

If interested contact:

Joe Carton 087 9215541, Dermot Carey 087 7952426 ,Tom O’Leary 087 2603593.


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