Stunner, an aptly named pedigree registered Charolais heifer from the prize-winning Tullyvillage Charolais herd, property of the Flynn family, is the top prize in a novel fundraising draw taking place in the west of the country, writes farming journalist, Catherina Cunnane.
The heifer is one of five prizes up for grabs in a draw which is taking place to improve facilities at Killyan Community Field in Newbridge, County Galway.
The second prize takes the form of a solid fuel stove which has been sponsored by Sean Gavin of Sean Gavin Electrical Beam Vacuum & Ventilation, while there are two cash prizes of €500 and €200 available and a fourth prize, a €250 Heating Oil voucher sponsored by Tony McCormack from Mountbellew.
Killyan Community Field
Andy Muldoon, on behalf of the committee, told That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane:
“The Killyan Community Field has been part of the sporting and social fabric of the Newbridge parish for over 90 years.”
“The field was registered in 1932, and in the following years, the field became the home of the Newbridge Gaelic Football Club and was used by the local soccer club and for athletics throughout the years.”
“In the mid-1980s, a committee was formed with a view of developing the ground and a dressing room was built.”
“In the early 2000s, it was becoming apparent that the ground was no longer fit for purpose, and a new committee was formed with the view to modernising the facility.”
“The dressing rooms were refurbished, floodlights were installed, and a fence and walkway were also installed partially around the perimeter.”
“Today, the field is used by St.Brendans GAA & LGFA, Ballygar hurling club and also provides a safe place for all members of the community to exercise and walk safely throughout the year.”
Throughout the 2000s, the area has suffered from population decline along with so many other rural areas.
However, with the changes in the working landscape brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, people have started to return to the vicinity.
Encourage people back
According to Muldoon, there is now an opportunity to build on this and encourage people not only to go back to their local community but to remain in the local area.
To do this, these community facilities and amenities must be readily available and of sufficient standard for all residents, Muldoon outlined.
There have been several different committees which have been charged with the responsibility of overseeing the field throughout its 90+ year existence.
The current committee, being formed in 2021, is chaired by Gus Shaughnessy and comprises circa ten local people who volunteer their time to maintain the facilities that generations before “worked tirelessly to create”.
“We are currently fundraising to improve the facilities that are currently in place, which includes extending and resurfacing the walkway, sanding the pitch to improve the playing surface and repairing the lighting.”
“Works also include adding benches throughout the field, some restoration work which the dressing rooms need and the overall costs of maintaining the field,” the spokesperson concluded.
Raffle and tickets
The raffle will take place this Saturday evening, May 13th, 2023, in The Shiven Inn Pub Newbridge, with an auction and live music on the night.
Tickets are €10 each or €50 for 6 and can be purchased in many local businesses between Newbridge, Ballygar, Toghergar and Mountbellew.