By Alan Rodgers
MAJOR Tyrone and Ulster Club Championship matches could soon be returning to O’Neill Park in Dungannon after a grant of £100,000 has been received from Croke Park for new floodlights.
The announcement of the financial aid comes as a £2 million development of the famous ground gathers pace.
In the summer of 2022, the Dungannon Clarkes club began a highly-ambitious redevelopment plan for O’Neill Park, which last year celebrated the 75th anniversary of its opening in 1947.
Their playing pitch was re-developed as part of phase one, and then the second phase saw the demolition of their clubrooms.
Work on an ambitious new community hub has been on-going over recent months.
The grant from Croke Park for the new floodlights will enable the venue to host evening time matches in the Tyrone Senior, Intermediate, Junior and other championships.
The absence of the lights in recent years has meant that clubs including Coalisland, Edendork, Ardboe and Clonoe have had to travel to the west of the county.
The difficulties associated with this were highlighted at the recent Tyrone GAA Convention when the new chairman, Martin Sludden, highlighted the development of O’Neill Park as being among his priorities for his five-year term in the top post.