THERE will be a strong Donegal influence in attendance at the pitch opening at Beann Eadair CLG in Dublin this evening.
The Howth and Sutton-based club will welcome a host of GAA Legends, with Donegal 1992 All-Ireland winners Martin McHugh, Noel Hegarty, Barry McGowan, Manus Boyle and John Cunningham among the star-studded field. Donegal’s 2012 All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Paul Durcan is also taking part.
Sean McEwen (pictured above with Christy Toye) from Letterkenny, who played senior football with St Eunan’s from 1993 to 2007, is involved in underage coaching with the Dublin club.
“We will officially open our new pitch following over €100K of redevelopment work in the last 12 months,” McEwen said. “The works have realigned the pitch bringing the magnificent setting up to championship class.
“Full floodlighting is expected to be completed by the end of September allowing night games and training facilities for members and also local schools that regularly use the facilities.
“The pitch will be officially opened by the GAA president Aogan O’Fearghail at 6:45pm. This will be preceded by a hurling legends exhibition match from 5pm and a football legends match at 7pm. In the football, a Dublin select will be facing the rest of Ireland.”
Stephen Byrne, the club secretary, has family roots in Glencolmcille, while MacCumhaill’s clubman Paul McCormack from Sean MacCumhaill’s is one of the organisers and a community activist. McCormack was Deputy Inspector the the New York Police Department before retiring and returning to Ireland.
“I’ve three sons – Cormac (5), Donnacha (3) and Conal (seven months) – and we want to keep the club striving for the sake of children like them. Despite the fact it’s one of Ireland’s oldest clubs at 130 years old, at the minute we’re building from the bottom up as we’ve no team north of under-14 level,” McEwen added.
“We’re a small club competing with a lot of other sports in the area and there’s been a real renaissance in interest in Gaelic Games in the area.”
More than 40 legends of GAA Football and Hurling are expected to attend including Dublin players like Ciaran Whelan, Ciaran Duff, Dessie Farrell, Eamon Heery, Barny Rock, Bernard Dunne with Micky Whelan rumoured to be managing the Dublin football legends.
Also expected to attend are Joe Brolly (Derry), DJ Carey and Charlie Carter (Kilkenny), Peter Canavan (Tyrone), Seamus Darby (Offaly), Dara and Mark O’Sé (Kerry), Liam McHale, Kevin McStay, Martin Carney (Mayo), Bernard Flynn, Colm Coyle with Sean Boylan of Meath managing the rest of Ireland legends.Tags: