Councillor courts a basketball facility

by Sylvia Pownall

FINGAL County Council has agreed to get the ball rolling on the provision of a basketball court in Balbriggan.
The issue was raised at the June local area meeting by Cllr Malachy Quinn (SF) who got the unanimous backing of other elected members.
The local basketball club – Irish Vikings – is currently forced to rent space in local community centres but would like to see an end to this costly practice.
Cllr Quinn said: “Basketball has seen an increase in popularity in recent years in Fingal. This is clear [to see] by the recent success of Swords Thunder becoming national men’s champions.
“The Irish Vikings club is an example of integration at work through sport, with members coming from a range of ethnic backgrounds, all brought together by the love of sport.
“Recent statistics show that 22% of the population of Balbriggan was born outside of the state.
“This very fact was recognised by the Minister for Integration David Stanton recently by the awarding of integration funding that will assist in the weekly running of the club.”
Irish Vikings has seen a huge spike in members and provides coaching for members aged under seven with juvenile teams for girls and boys in all age categories.
Cllr Quinn said: “With almost half of the 23,000 population of Balbriggan aged under 17, it is essential that projects such as this gets the support of all the residents of the town and the council.
“In the coming months, we will be sitting down with the council to map out a strategy for a public basketball court in Balbriggan.”

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