Sallynoggin Pearse FC, a football club serving the community of Sallynoggin since the 1950s is finally getting a new clubhouse after 15 years of campaigning.
Richard Cummins, chairman of the club said they have been trying to move the “clubhouse forward for the past 15 years but we never really got anywhere.”
Now the council has finally “gotten back to us and said they’re going to file a planning application for a new building.”
The current carnation of Sallynoggin Pearse FC formed in 2010 when Sallynoggin Celtic and Pearse Rovers amalgamated.
Images of the current clubhouse emerged in late 2017 which showed the corrugated structure in bad repair and fixtures such as lights and wires hanging down from the ceiling.
Darren Brady, native to Sallynoggin and team manager, said at the time that the “tin-can dressing room is pretty much the exact same structure that has been there since the fifties.
“The only new element is the concrete that was put along the sides of the clubhouse to stop people peeling the sheets open and nicking the balls.
“Our dressing room is a complete death trap.
“There are massive holes in the corrugated sheets. The entire clubhouse is damp and leaking. The door hangs from one hinge.
“The electrics are atrocious — the lads kept getting shocks anytime they plugged anything in so we tend to push things into sockets with a stick.”
Just over 18 months later, the council have confirmed they will apply for planning permission for a new clubhouse under the Part eight scheme.
“The new building will accommodate us, a boxing club and a kick-boxing club as well so we’re trying to give back to the community,” says Cummins.
“The clubhouse held us back from progressing while our neighbours St. Joseph’s Boys have gone from strength to strength.
“So, with this new building, we’ll become a major part of the community again.”
The existing clubhouse is situated in Pearse Park but due to a lack of a proper sewage system the new building will be located in Sallynoggin Park, about 200 metres away.
“We’ve currently two senior teams and we would love to have schoolboy and schoolgirl teams again,” says Cummins.
“We would have had a team at every age group going back about 20 years ago but because of the lack of facilities we just had to stop it. It just wasn’t feasible with the lack of toilets and whatnot.
“So that’s the aim, to give kids in the area an alternative to where they can play football in an environment that they’re not being put under pressure – they’re just playing for the joy of playing football,” he adds.
The club currently has about 45 members but hopes to have up to 70 by April next year when a 35s-and-over team is re-introduced.
Funding for the build of the new clubhouse has been applied for under the Sports Capital Programme and Cummins says the continued support of businesses and sponsors such as Core Credit Union, The Sallynoggin Inn and Adrian’s Dry Cleaners have helped in the push for planning permission.
Notable former members of the club include former League of Ireland stalwart Dave Mackey and Irish footballing legend Paul McGrath, with the later saying that the campaign for a new clubhouse “was worth fighting for.”