Waterford Ladies Gaelic Football Association (WLGFA) have become the first ladies county football team to fully own their own grounds outright in Ireland after years of fundraising for an 11 acre site beside the Waterford Greenway on the edge of Dungarvan at Ballinroad. Work on the field is expected to commence by the summer and will consist of a state-of-the-art pitch with pitch side spectator stand, changing rooms, coach and car park and a full six lane running track around the perimeter of the pitch. The facilities will be available for use to all county and club teams in the Waterford LGFA across all grades and will mean that county players will no longer have to travel to different GAA fields around the county and not knowing where their next training session will be on a weekly and even daily basis.
It is intended that the full fit out and works for the new county ladies football team facility will be funded by the sale of nearby development lands from which the entire profit will be split 70% to the WLGFA and the remaining 30% to the local Kilgobinet GAA club and it is expected works will commence by summer 2021 and be completed by the Spring of 2023.The new grounds will be available for use by WLGFA county teams and clubs along with the wider community both locally and nationally.
Edel Curry, secretary of Waterford LGFA field development sub-committee said “It is the intention of the Waterford Ladies Gaelic Football Association to provide a multifunctional playing and facilities development in what is a strategic location in the county. This will be the first such freehold facility nationally and we firmly believe that it will be a key driver for the greater development of the entire area in terms of sporting, social and economic advancement. We firmly believe that our project will greatly enhance the participation of all age categories in our sport and look forward to its immediate commencement. Ladies Gaelic Football is the fastest growing sport in Ireland today and our facility will be the first of its kind.The youngsters who will benefit from this development will be our stars of the future and hopefully bring continued All Ireland glory. The WLGFA Field Development sub-committee of John Frewen (Chairperson WLGFA), Paul Heffernan, Crohan McGregor, Mary O’Donnell, Michael Ryan, Jonathan Shaw and myself are so delighted to see this project finally come to fruition.”
John Frewen, Chairperson WLGFA said “WLGFA will be creating history by also being the first Ladies Gaelic football Association to own their own freehold and facilities. There are 21 ladies football clubs serving 2100 members and growing and we are so proud of this achievement and thankful to everyone who contributed to what will be an amazing state of the art facility. We are grateful to the owner of a nearby housing development site, known locally as the Duckspool site, who has made us the main beneficiary of its sale when it secures planning permission. The Waterford LGFA will receive 70% of the profit of this sale whilst the remaining 30% will be donated to Kilgobinet GAA club. It is hoped that the proposed housing development at Duckspool Dungarvan will be for housing comprising terraced, semi-detached and detached houses.”
Michelle Ryan, a former Waterford LGFA senior county team player said “I’m delighted to see that the plans for a Waterford LGFA pitch and training facility will soon come to fruition. It is a huge testament to the progressive vision & commitment of Waterford LGFA members, supporters and administrators. This will be a very valuable asset to Waterford LGFA moving forward as it will create a much-needed base that we can call our own. Such a facility can only further enhance the growth and development of all our adult and underage teams in the future.”
Mary O’Donnell who has 4 LGFA All Stars and is also a former Waterford LGFA senior county team player said “It’s fantastic to see the Waterford LGFA are in a great position to finally achieve the dreams of past and present players in owning their own Ladies Gaelic football pitch. It will act as a centre for players to enhance their skills and maximise their potential. This project will mark an important milestone for females in sport and will greatly enhance participation in our national games. Having somewhere to call our own will enable us to take ladies football in the county to the next level. Now there will be certainty as to where training will be held instead of depending on the goodwill of so many clubs who let us use their grounds for years and are so grateful to all of them for their generosity”.