Leo opens doors to new Knock home

by Cóilín Duffy

CASTLEKNOCK GAA Club hosted one of the biggest days in its 21-year history on Saturday, with the opening of their new clubhouse on Somerton Road by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar as part of the club’s Annual Family Fun Day.

An Taoiseach took time out of his hectic schedule to perform the honours, alongside Leinster Council GAA Chairman Jim Bolger, and local priest Father Dan Joe Mahony who blessed the building in the presence of a huge crowd.

It comprises four dressing rooms, a gym, meeting rooms and office space; and adds to the three full-size pitches on-site.

Planning permission has also been granted for further floodlighting at the venue.

“Politics is a little bit of a roller coaster in many ways. You have good days and you have bad days and there are a lot of ups and downs; but I don’t think there is any prouder moment for a TD or any Irish politician to be present at the opening of your local GAA club’s clubhouse,” Varadkar said.

Castleknock GAA Club Chairman Charlie Spillane said: “In 1884, the year the GAA was founded, a regular visitor here to Somerton was Ireland’s leading political figure of the day, Charles Stewart Parnell.

“Parnell even got a mention during a Brexit debate this week in the House of Commons.

“So, given the times we are in, it’s highly appropriate that his indirect successor, and Ireland’s current leading political figure, and a regular visitor to Somerton, An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar should be joining us here in Somerton some 135 years later.”

Club secretary Sean McLaughlin said it was a memorable day for the club.

“It’s a marvellous day for the Dublin 15 Community and our club in particular,” he told the Dublin Gazette.

“We have 116 teams competing across all codes of Gaelic Games and everybody enjoys the games here with us.”

McLaughlin paid tribute to everyone involved in bringing the clubhouse project to fruition.

“You wouldn’t get this done without the hard work of the thousands of volunteers we have in the club who give of their time for the benefit of the club for no money on a regular basis.

“It’s a great testament to the community spirit that is within these people that are volunteer members of our club.”

A total of 17 games were held on site on the day, ranging from Juvenile hurling and football games, through to a Senior B Hurling Championship quarter-final.

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