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Work on Collooney's New 40x20 Court Commences

posted 13 Aug 2013, 21:11 by John McLoughlin

Construction of Collooney handball court begins

The eagerly awaited start to the new Collooney handball 40 x 20 court finally began on Monday last August 12th
The Club has been in existence since 1928.  The then Chairman Alfie Higgins a signal man on the Midland Railway and WP McElroy and Secretary approached the land owners the Cooper Family of Markree Castle who kindly donated a plot of ground on the Fairgreen. At the official opening in 1928 Joe & Paddy Bergin who had local connections and were residing in Tipperary played Jim Hunt & Eddie Perry from Sligo. Others who played included Joe Lane, Guard Cunnion from Ballintogher, Jim & Mickey O’Rourke from Ballisodare.

 In 1996/97 the height of the walls was extended to 27ft and the installing of a new floor. Dressing rooms were added in 1999.The old galvanised roof was replaced in 2001 with a modern roof. With the added facilities Collooney hosted many Connacht handball championships matches and a number of All-Ireland semi-finals & finals.

Fundraising for the new handball court began in 2008 with tickets sales bringing in €13,000 initially.  In August of 2009 Andy Healy (a Sligo native) President of the Boston Sligo Association handed over $2,000 to the club following a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser in Boston to club officials in Collooney handball club. Most recently the Club was grateful to receive €50,000 from the Department of Arts Sports & Tourism in January.

The Club have taken a loan out of €76,000 from “Clan Credo and the money is being paid back by two sources of revenue the Bingo and from the club members themselves who put in €5 every week.  The club welcomes anyone who is willing to contribute to the project to come on board.  The bingo will be running for 3 years in September each Thursday night and is successful to date

The main contractor is Shane Malone from Boyle. Shane has already built two award winning developments in Collooney at Bramble Hallow and at Hawthorn Court. The Club’s Technical Advisor is P.J. Moran an All-Ireland winner with Roscommon.

The cost of the entire project is costing €200,000 to build and the project is expected to take eight month to complete.

(Article courtesy Michael McGee)