Killeshin’s €50,000 tunnel vision

A LAOIS GAA club is literally tunnelling to develolp its facilities.

A LAOIS GAA club is literally tunnelling to develolp its facilities.

AS part of their ongoing facilities development, Killeshin GAA Club plan to construct a €50,000 underground tunnel that will pass underneath an existing roadway and access two recently completed playing pitches.

The club lodged planning permission with Laois County Council for the latest phase of their ambitious development programme on June 21 last and a decision is due on their application by next Wednesday, August 15.

Club Chairperson Michael Brennan said he was ‘hopeful’ permission would be granted for the project and he explained that the primary reason for constructing the tunnel was on health and safety grounds.

“We will be maintaining and improving our existing club house and dressing rooms. But going forward we intend to use the existing pitch as our training ground. And rather than having players and officials, particularly young players, crossing the roadway to our two new playing pitches they’ll be able to do so via the tunnel.

“It would be dangerous to have people crossing the roadway and nowadays health and safety is a priority issue for us all,” he said.

Mr Brennan revealed that the club has funding in place and he estimated that the tunnel would cost €50,000 to complete.

The new pitches were developed during 2011 and the tunnel is not the only element of their latest plans.

It is intended to create a spectator entrance to the new pitches and increase the capacity of the existing car parking facility so as it can cater for up to sixty cars. They also plan to erect ball stop nets.

Of course Killeshin found them-selves in the glare of the media spotlight and the area came alive last year when under the guidance of former Irish soccer star Tony Cascarino they triumphed in RTE’s Celebrity Bainisteoir.

Last year was particularly memorable for them on the playing fields as they also captured the Laois intermediate & U-21 ‘B’ football championship success along with Division 3 & 5 Football League titles.

And this year Killeshin are looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the top clubs in the Laois SFC.

“We’ve a good underage structure and we are hoping to give a good account of ourselves at senior level although it may take a few years to make a serious impact. The club is always looking to the future and the community has been very supportive of our efforts on and off the pitch and we appreciate that wholeheartedly,” concluded Mr Brennan.