Down GAA clubs avail of £1,755,436 social finance
BETWEEN 2016 and 2021, Community Finance Ireland has supported 12 GAA clubs throughout Down through a total of £1,755,436 in social finance loans.
Clubs such as Annaclone GAC, Ballygalget GAC and Kilcoo GAC have drawn down social finance loans from Community Finance Ireland to invest in new equipment or kit, improved facilities or new developments. Co Down native Phelim Sharvin, Head of Community Finance Ireland NI, said: “We work with clubs right across the island of Ireland, from Ballymoney to Bantry and from Dublin to Dingle, and they’re facing many of the same challenges as clubs here across Down. “GAA clubs are often the heart of a local community and it’s vital that they invest in their future to sustain that important role as community hubs for generations to come. “GAA clubs are more than the teams who line out every week, they’re the coaching staff, the groundskeepers and kit team, the hospitality staff, the bus drivers, the board members and those tireless volunteers who rise to every task at hand.
“The heritage of a club relies on these people, and it’s important that clubs invest in the future of those volunteers just as they would look to the future of their senior panel. “Passing on the baton to the younger generation coming up – both on and off the pitch – is vital for the sustainability of clubs in Down and through the hands-on support from our team at Community Finance Ireland, clubs can rely on fair and flexible social finance solutions that can help them become selfsustainable as a club and community hub.” Mr Sharvin was speaking at the launch of a new Community Finance Ireland five-part webinar series ‘Supporting GAA Clubs On and Off the Pitch’ focusing on how clubs can invest in their infrastructure and their people to ensure the sustainability of their club, and as a result, their county.
The webinar series was launched at the home of All-Ireland Club champions and GAA Club Player of the Year, Kilcoo GAC, who were recipients of social finance support from Community Finance Ireland in 2018 to help the build and provision of a fully equipped kitchen and changing facilities as well as IT facilities. Roger Morgan, Kilcoo GAC chairman said: “Our commitment to the investment of our club and its facilities is at the heart of our promise to make a community hub for everyone. “Community Finance Ireland understood this commitment and were a key partner in helping us create facilities that are for today and tomorrow’s volunteers, players and fans of the game”. For information visit www.communityfinanceireland.com.