Progressive Mayo sports club secures land to facilitate future growth

Ballinrobe Town AFC has reached an agreement to purchase land from Mayo County Council that will cater for future growth.

The deal for a plot of approximately 11 acres adjacent to the new graveyard on The Neale Road is agreed in principle and will be subject to planning, etcetera.

“This is a very exciting time for our club and the wider community,” said club chairperson Alan Dowling. “From our first game over 130 years ago we have grown to being one of the largest sports clubs in south Mayo. We have over 400 players, of which 30% are female, and we continue to develop inclusive sports opportunities for people young and old alike, and boast players from 19 different nationalities.

“We are also excited to announce additional enhancement and upgrade works to our current clubhouse and changing facilities at The Green, which are well under way.

“This growth has brought with it its own challenges. With only one grass pitch, it is fair to say we are desperate for additional training space. We’d like to acknowledge Ballinrobe Community School, who continue to provide overflow capacity, and of course Ballinrobe Town Parks for their decades of support. We look forward to working with them both well into the future.”

Mr. Dowling continued: “The new ground will give us the space to grow and reach the potential we believe we have for many years to come. There is already a foot/cycle path in place to the facility, and we will see more pedestrian safety measures put in place as the project progresses.

“While a phased development of this kind will take time and effort, the club are fully ready for the challenge of bringing best in class facilities of this kind to our community.

“We look forward to working with the FAI, Mayo County Council and our community, and to sharing more on this project as it moves through its early stages.”

In explaining that the process of structuring a deal has taken a lot of negotiation and hard work, the club has acknowledged Councillor Michael Burke’s input and advice throughout, and has also thanked Councillor Damien Ryan and Councillor Patsy O’Brien for their support in getting a workable deal together.