Banteer pride at vital multi-sport community hub takes shape

After nearly six years of preparation, the finish line is in sight for the Banteer Community Sportsfield project.

With the first phase of the €1.85m development – ​​the construction of an all-weather lit playing surface – having been completed in March 2020, the second element of the project is only two months away from completion. .

Almost ready for action, the new community building adjacent to the astrotruf pitch will include changing rooms, disabled facilities, spectator stand, museum, digital hub and cafe.

The stop-start nature of GAA activity over the past two Covid-dominated years meant that the all-weather playing surface was not cleared until May last year, with demand for the pitch ever since then about seven days a week.

Last weekend, the astroturf ground hosted 11 matches of hurling, camogie, women’s football, the Duhallow U21 football championship and soccer.

Yesterday’s Munster senior post-primary women’s football final was the second provincial decision to take place at the venue in the space of a fortnight, while Cork’s senior camogie team reside in Banteer every Thursday evenings to train under new manager Matthew Twomey and trainer Davy. Fitzgerald.

The soon-to-open multifunctional community building will complement the gaming facilities, document the rich history of Banteer Sports and provide workspace for people living in the area.

“The museum/exhibition area will showcase and document a great deal of local history, such as the 100 year history of Banteer Sports, which was a major annual event at the famous cinder track here from 1886 to 1986,” said Denis Withers said. , secretary of the sports ground.

“Jerry Sheehan has put together an excellent compilation of the history of Banteer Sports, including old RTÉ commentary. The museum will attract people to the area interested in viewing old newspaper articles, photos and videos associated with the event, while preserving it for future generations.

The aforementioned digital hub, he added, was not part of the original plan, but was incorporated into the design of the building when Covid spawned a spike in remote working and the relocation of people from towns and cities. to more rural areas.

General view of Banteer Community Sportsfield Astroturf development project, Banteer, Co. Cork.

“After Covid arrived, it became a necessary part of the project. For those who work from home, this is a space for them if they want to work alone away from home, but do it locally.

The main grant of €1.2 million funding development came from the government’s regeneration and rural development fund in 2019. A capital grant for sport was also approved, as well as Leader grants for the inclusion of a renewable energy system, parking and a digital hub in the new building.

The remaining €400,000 of the bill continues to be raised through fundraising efforts and local sponsorship.

Withers said there was immense local pride as the project drew to a close and appreciation for the facility they now have on their doorstep.

“This is a testament to the hard work of the Banteer Community Sportsfield group and the support received from the local community, all local user clubs, neighbours, businesses, schools, TDs, councillors, all fundraisers / ticket sellers, Director Maura Walsh and IRD Duhallow staff that this major project for Banteer is taking place during these difficult times.

“This project will provide a facility for all areas of Duhallow, County Cork, Kerry and Limerick, and provide all families and future generations with a better quality of life.”

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