Plans for GAA centre of excellence put on hold

Story by Kieran Galvin

Wednesday, 14th December, 2011 5:30pm

Plans for a GAA Centre of Excellence at Multyfarnham are "postponed temporarily", though planning permission for the project is expected to be sought in 2012.

Westmeath County Board chairman, Tom Farrell made an update on ambitious plans for the centre - earmarked for lands near the Franciscan Abbey in Multy' - central to his address at the county convention in Rosemount on Saturday night.

Mr Farrell described the Multy' project as "the final piece" of an ongoing effort to improve GAA and sporting facilities in Westmeath.

"Due to lack of funding and the present economic climate the Multy project has been postponed temporarily," the chairman told hundreds of delegates at the weekend.

"We will continue with the project by drawing up the plans and hopefully apply for planning permission during 2012.

"Sincere thanks to the Franciscan Order for their help and understanding in this project."

Mr Farrell, who is entering his fifth and final year as chairman, also spoke about forthcoming plans to expand Cusack Park, Mullingar, after the venue's capacity was cut back to 11,000 in light of the Slattery Report on healthy and safety in GAA grounds nationwide.

Possible measures include "a proposal to cover the entire seated accommodation with the intention of providing a proper self contained stand", Mr Farrell said.

Another focal point of the Tang clubman's keynote address was the question of club finances. Mr Farrell urged all clubs to file a copy of their annual financial reports with the county board, and to discuss ways to pay outstanding monies.

The chairman said that he was alarmed that several clubs had not so much as contacted the board in this regard.

"I would like to reiterate in the strongest possible way, that clubs who have made no effort to contact the County Committee will not be allowed to participate [in competitions] until the matter has been resolved," he warned.