New Sports Hall opens in
by Linda McGrory
GROWN-UPS and children in east Inishowen have no excuse
for not getting fit and healthy following the opening of
a fantastic new community Sports Hall in Greencastle.
The state-of-the-art sports facility is the culmination
of 20 years' work by the local Greencastle Community
Development Company Ltd., who have battled long and hard
to secure grants and finance for the much-needed
Whether it's indoor soccer, volleyball, basketball,
badminton or table tennis, the 600 sq metres hall can
accommodate it all. In fact, it only takes a group of
friends or a club to get together, divide the modest
€40-an-hour fee between them, and the committee will let
you run anything from jive to juggling. Also coming
soon, is a fully-equipped upstairs gym and fitness suite
complete with treadmills and other equipment.
Sports Hall recently hosted its first children's
birthday party with full use of the spacious kitchen.
People will soon be allowed to hire bouncy castles for
birthdays too and inflate them in the huge hall - ideal
for those rainy days of summer.
Greencastle Community Development Company Ltd.,
chairperson, Seamus Bovaird said the possibilities for
the new hall were endless. He said the committee was
delighted the facility had finally come to fruition for
the people of the area and especially young people who
now have somewhere safe to socialise and
"Our catchment area is quite large and would span from
Greencastle up to about Redcastle and over to
Carrowmenagh. The more people use it the better," said
Seamus, who hoped several expressions of interest in
badminton, would soon culminate in a badminton night.
"The hall is open six days a week including Saturdays
and most evenings are busy."
Seamus explained that getting the facility to its
current phase cost more than €270,000 of which €210,000
was capital sports grants and the remainder, local
He said they were among the
first to benefit from a social finance bridging loan of
€230,000 from the Ulster Community Investment Trust. (UCIT)
which facilitated the completion of the hall phase.
Greencastle Youth Club secretary, Danny Farren said the
club's 75 young charges are thrilled with the new hall.
He said the facility came in particularly useful for the
youngsters when almost everything else in the locality
came to a standstill during the recent big freeze. He
singled out Inishowen Development Partnership youth
officer Sean McGrory, Donegal Youth Service and Peace
III facilitators as instrumental in the ongoing
development of sports initiatives at the hall.
"It's a fantastic facility for everyone in the
community. Currently, you can play soccer, basketball
and volleyball. There are four badminton courts and a
full-size indoor football pitch," said Danny, who works,
by day, as an electronics technician in the University
of Ulster at Magee.
training and martial arts along with many other things
are in the pipeline," added the enthusiastic youth
leader. Danny said that adult regulars to the hall so
far include Carrowmenagh Football Club, Moville Rowing
Club, a non-contact boxing club from Gleneely and local
The next phase of development will be the
almost-complete gym that will be funded by the local
Salmon Hardship Fund. There will also be a new office
that will be rented out to the Loughs Agency as well as
two new units for the Irish-language pre-school,
Naiscoil Cois Feabhail and the English-language
preschool Greencastle Community Childcare. The new
preschool units will be part-funded by the International
Fund for Ireland. If you or your club would like to book
Greencastle Sports Hall or if you want more information,
please call 07493 81054.