The long-awaited official opening of McGovern Aughavas Leitrim GAA Centre of Excellence will take place on Saturday next, September 7th, and Uachtarán CLG Seán Ó hÓráin will be present to perform the official duty. The project has come a long way since the land purchase signing for the property was completed on 7th January 2005 and people passing the premises along the N4 at Annaduff cannot but be impressed by the transformation that has taken place in recent weeks as the finishing touches have been put to the congregation side of of the building, entrance and car park to have it looking ship-shape for the big day.
Recent fundraising through the Leitrim Wall fundraising campaign has afforded Leitrim GAA the opportunity to complete the development to a standard that all Leitrim people can be justifiably proud of. We are indebted to all of the people far and wide who have contributed to what has turned out to be a momentous scheme and we are sure that all will be delighted that their contribution has been put to excellent use. In addition to this, we are also most grateful to Tony and Bernadette McGovern, London and Aughavas, who have secured the naming and advertising rights to this property over the next 15 years. McGovern, Aughavas, is a name that has been synonymous with a huge degree of generosity towards Leitrim GAA over the past quarter of a century and this will continue into the future with the name being associated proudly with the conclusion of this development.
While the pitches have been in use since January 2016 with the dressing rooms and gym functional, it has taken this combined final push to ensure that the remainder of the internal and the external public side of the property have been completed to the very high standard that is already evident, playing surface wise, at the rear of the property.
We have waited a long time for the conclusion of an almost 15-year long project but can be very happy with the end product which, when officially opened, will be practically debt-free and that, in itself, is an achievement and something well worth the wait. We are indebted to Croke Park and Connacht Council GAA for the contributions incrementally made, to a total of €2m, over the duration of the development. This is inclusive of the €250k that was made available from the opening of Croke Park to the FAI and IRFU in the noughties. Leitrim GAA Clubs are to applauded to have taken the decision back then to hand over that grant towards the project. All in all, the project has cost €2.8m and will be a jewel in Leitrim GAA’s crown, while serving as the proud home of many future generations of Leitrim GAA players.
We are looking forward to Saturday and extend an open invitation to all to attend. The timeline is as follows:
- Underage games and Coaching from 11am to 12 noon, hurling and football
- Refreshments 12 noon onwards with the opportunity to view the development
- Speeches and Official Opening from 1pm to 2pm
We look forward to seeing you on Saturday next!
Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir!!