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Tuar Mhic Éadaigh all set for Comórtas 2017

Sport

READY FOR OFF Pictured at the newly-redeveloped CLG Tuar Mhic Eadaigh ahead of Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta were, left to right: David Lally (Treasurer), Pattie Stunduín Uí Aodhagáin (Cathaoirleach) and Schools Liaison Officer, Tomás Ó Neachtáin.

Feature
Ger Flanagan

WITH just days to go until CLG Tuar Mhic Éadaigh host the iconic Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta tournament, the club’s officers have revealed they’ve been “completely blown away” by the support they’ve received during the build-up.
Speaking to The Mayo News recently at their new, state-of-the-art facilities on the shores of Lough Mask, Cathaoirleach of Tuar Mhic Éadaigh, Pattie Stunduín Uí Aodhagáin, highlighted the positive impact this event can have on the village of Tourmakeady, and how important the community effort has been in recent months.
“I think this is the chance to push and promote Tourmakeady as a fantastic area, a Gaeltacht area, and something we are very proud of,” explained Pattie. “Since day one, the community have really got behind us. The more we started to do, the more we realised how much more we could achieve, and so we kept pushing.
“Hopefully it will give us recognition, that people will come and like the area and will want to visit again. It’s a huge celebration of culture, language, tradition and friendship.”
Over 4,000 spectators are expected to flock to the picturesque location on the June Bank Holiday weekend, with over 600 footballers gunning to be crowned Comórtas Senior or Junior champions.
In order to facilitate this huge influx of national and international visitors, the communities of both Tourmakeady and Partry have been united in their fundraising efforts to ensure the community had the sports and social resources which would inspire generations to come.
The transformation of the CLG Tuar Mhic Éadaigh grounds has been astronomical, and a new Ionad Spóirt that can cater for all indoor sports and exercise classes has been constructed, complete with an outdoor skills wall.
A second pitch has also been developed adjacent to the Secondary School along with a new car-park and temporary marquee to house the crowd, to list just a few.
Of course none of this comes without a cost, and an estimated €850,000 is thought to have been spent – subsidized through fundraising, grants and a small loan.
CLG Tuar Mhic Éadaigh treasurer, and Head Engineer behind the construction, David Lally, explained that the cost of the redevelopment would have been substantially more without the tireless volunteerism of the local tradesmen.
“It has been overwhelming the amount of support we got,” he said. “Initially, we just planned on touching up the dressing rooms and building a sports hall. We didn’t plan on having a car-park, a skills wall, even a second pitch. But we ended up totally re-doing it and it’s because of the local effort. We have facilities for around €850,000  that probably would have cost €1.5 million, and that’s down to some of the contractors here who are doing work for nothing.
“The grants too have been a huge help and all the donations from our emigrants in the UK and America. As too has Minister Michael Ring, without him it wouldn’t have been done.”
Visitors can expect plenty of ‘ceol, craic agus spraoi’ on the entertainment fronts for the weekend.
GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaíl is officially launching the weekend on Friday night next, followed by some local traditional music and dance, and a disco. On Saturday night, Concord will be taking to the stage and on Sunday, the famous ‘Cailín Gaelach Amhránaithe’ will take place, hosted by well-known TV personality Seán Bán Breathnach.
The Comórtas football finals will take place on Monday and there will be live coverage from TG4 and RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta throughout the weekend.
Schools Liaison Officer, Tomás Ó Neachtáin, was also keen to emphasise the legacy and distinction that hosting the Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta will leave behind on the area.
“There’s a huge amount of family members that are living away at the minute, and they are all coming back to us,” he said. “It’s going to have a huge legacy to follow on. In the next generation they will always hear of the Comórtas, and that for me is exciting. That we will have something that will last for a long, long time.”

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