TILES BETTER An artist’s impression of how the ‘Laochra Mhaigh Eo’ wall at MacHale Park will look.
The idea itself
THE project was conceived late last year. The County Board executive approached us, the Cairde Mhaigh Eo sub-committee, because there was resurfacing work required on the pitch and they wanted a fundraising project that would support that.
And they also wanted it to tie in with some other initiatives, like history and community.
There are about 20 people on the Cairde Mhaigh Eo committee but very early on somebody suggested the idea of a ‘Tile Wall’, that they had seen it done by Leitrim GAA and by Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in London.
We felt that this was something that could work for Mayo GAA; it’s going to be behind the main stand in MacHale Park and we’re starting with three sections of the wall, but it can be continued on in due course if required.
What really appealed about it was that it gave the Mayo public an opportunity to honour a personal hero, be that living, deceased, a work colleague, a friend, somebody in a community group, whatever it was. This would give them an opportunity to honour a person, in perpetuity, on the Mayo Heroes’ Wall.
For the County Board, the by-product is that we get to honour the three All-Ireland winning teams [1936, 1950 and 1951] as well. And hopefully, in the future, other teams as well.
Because at the moment you don’t get a total sense of history in the stadium, and this was one way of introducing it while tying it in with community as well.
The St Patrick’s Day launch
WE feel that St Patrick’s Day gives us the ideal opportunity, via a number of live broadcasts on Mayo GAA’s social media channels, to check in on Mayo people, be they in America or Australia or England or all four corners of our county here. And provide them with content on a day when, traditionally, they would be very occupied but may not be this year.
We’ve got a great response, all of the county team managers are going to be on at different stages during the day, we got some great stories from family members of the three teams that are being honoured as the centre-pieces, and we’ve also got some great stories from people who are buying tiles to honour family members and loved ones.
It’s primary purpose is to entertain people for St Patrick’s Day, but we’re doing it so that we can launch this concept and promote it as well.
Where to get more information
FROM last Saturday if you visit the Mayo GAA website you’ll see a page for ‘Laochra Mhaigh Eo’ and the options will be laid out there for the public.
There are three products available: a tile where you choose your inscription and that will be put up when the wall is erected (€250); the second product is a tile and a replica, where you get a copy of the tile for the wall at home (€395); and the third option is the ‘premium’ product which is effectively four tiles, a larger display space, that may suit a business (€1,000). In all three cases there are instalment plans as well because we’re conscious that this is a large amount of money.
Ciaran O’Hara is the chairperson of the Cairde Mhaigh Éo committee.