Open day at Liam Mellows on Saturday

Liam Mellows GAA Club will host a special family day on Saturday (June 19 ) as part of a major fundraising drive for its club redevelopment.

Full details of the proposed development, which was launched this week, will be on display on the day, along with juvenile and camogie exhibition games, face-painting, and various other novelty events.

The club and grounds development at Ballyloughane, Renmore, includes two phases of work to be completed over the coming months as part of a plan designed to make the club’s grounds “a centre of excellence for hurling and camogie in Galway city”.

The event on Saturday is an opportunity for present and past members as well as local residents to see the facilities and the future plans.

They will be invited to sign up to the weekly lotto at a cost of €2 a week and their chosen numbers will be entered into the weekly draw with a guaranteed jackpot of €4,000 a week. The aim is to get at least 1,000 people signed up.

Phase one, which is a new juvenile training pitch, is due for completion by the end of June. Money has already been raised through the club's successful Race Day fundraisers which ran from 2004 to 2007, in addition to grants from the department of Arts, Sports & Tourism and the Connacht Council of the GAA.

Phase two will commence in July, consisting of three floodlit astroturf pitches and a 50-metre hurling wall. The astroturf pitches will include state of the art floodlighting and playing surfaces. This is expected to cost between €1.5 and €2m to complete.

The plans also include a public walkway that is being developed in conjunction with Galway City Council. The walkway forms the first part of the club’s plans to open their grounds for public use.

The only city-based hurling stronghold, the new development is seen as necessary to ensure the club competes at the highest level without having to move out of its city centre base.

“To develop and nurture the hurlers and camogie players of tomorrow, the club realises the importance of investing in modern facilities today. To compete with other sports and codes, the club’s plans will make the grounds among the best in the city,” says a club spokesperson.

The club’s grounds in Ballyloughane were first opened in 1984. At the time, the club had two adult teams and the juvenile section of the club was in its infancy. Today it fields more than 20 teams and as a result it has outgrown the single playing field at its grounds and has relied on the use of other pitches and facilities around the city.

The open day’s festivities will kick off at 2pm and all present and former players, members and followers are invited along for the day’s events.

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