JP donation a ‘massive boost’ says Tattyreagh chairman

By Niall Gartland

A SHORTFALL in government funding means that the incoming donation to GAA clubs across Tyrone from billionaire businessman JP McManus is particularly appreciated, according to Tattyreagh chairperson Luke Darcy.

McManus has donated €1 million to every county board to be dispersed in an equitable manner between the clubs before the end of the January, and the Tattyreagh chairman is expecting to receive in the region of £10-15,000 when the time arrives.

Local government funding has been at a premium with Stormont out of commission, but Tattyreagh are pressing ahead all the same with ambitious development works at Páirc Uí Dhorchaí.

It’s no surprise then that chairperson Darcy says the news of an unexpected donation comes as a significant boost to a club which is small in numbers but big in ambition.

Darcy said: “There’s no readily available grants of any description for any small projects that clubs are undertaking due to the effect of having no government up the road. Any revenue we can bring in is a massive boost to us.

“There’s been a lot of chat throughout the club about JP’s donation, there’s been a real buzz on Whatsapp and things like that.

“Obviously people will have ideas about where the money will go, but we have certain priorities and from discussions we’ve had with the executive, it’s likely that the money will go into the developments at our club grounds.

“It’s been difficult this last 18 months in terms of grants so this money will really help. We’re like any club, the youngsters want top facilities, they want the gyms, 4G pitches and all that costs money.”

Tattyreagh’s immediate priority is the installation of a new 4G pitch and a ball wall to cater for underage members of the club, while further down the line they are setting their sights on the development of a second full-sized pitch. Mr Darcy explains that the local community are more than happy to help on that front.

“We’re lucky to have very generous sponsors and it keeps a steady trickle of money coming in. Then we have An Chairde, where we have 150 club members paying a fiver a week and that’s raising about £30,000 a year. When you have a steady income stream like that, it allows us to plan for certain things as we know what’s ahead of us for the next year or so.”

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