Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Exciting new developments at Mullingar Rugby Club

By Paul O’Donovan

Mullingar Rugby Club have announced a number of exciting new developments and improved facilities at their ground in Cullion, the main feature, which will be a full size artificial match standard pitch.
Apart from the new all-weather pitch, the club also intend to create an artificial training area, improve the drainage of the grounds as well as revamp the car park and improve the facilities at the clubhouse, including the dressing rooms and fitness facilities. Phase 1 of the project, which includes the new artificial pitch is expected to cost in the region of €500,000 but it is believed the club are already halfway towards reaching that figure.
These plans were unveiled at the official presentation of their Capital Development Plan at Mullingar Rugby Club in Cullion last Wednesday evening, 27 August, prior to their club’s opening game of the new season in the Midland League against Longford, which Mullingar won. (See match report on page 59).
Speaking at the presentation of the new plans last Wednesday, David Ross, from the Leinster Branch, informed the gathering of club members on the background and latest information on all weather pitches. David shared his experiences of artificial pitches from his time with Donnybrook RFC saying “All weather pitches are certainly the way forward”.
David also outlined the pros and cons regarding the use of artificial surfaces for rugby, discussing issues such as injuries, the use of pitches, the life expectancy of the pitch and the products used in its manufacture.
David praised Mullingar RFC for their ambition and praised them for taking the right steps forward in their development as a club.
There followed a video presentation showing the history of the club, the development of the club, its highlights on and off the field and the massive progress the club has made on the field, particularly at youth and women’s level over the past few years. During the presentation it was stated that Mullingar RFC is amongst the top three youth rugby clubs in Leinster.
The club stated that the current facilities at the club are now totally inadequate. So they have produced a three-year plan to seriously upgrade those facilities.
A combination of playing pressure on the pitches, training requirements, wet weather and a huge increase in the number of players has resulted in the club deciding to lay a new state of the art all-weather pitch in the grounds.
CLUB BENEFACTOR
Mullingar RFC also stated that they were proud to announce that they have secured a benefactor that is prepared to match euro for euro the amount raised by the club.
Mick Lambe of Mullingar RFC stated, “We are looking at carrying out these developments in separate phases. Phase 1 will be the all-weather pitch development. To start us off we have a Capital Sports Grant secured and on top of that we have a club benefactor who will match the money we raise as a club. The clubhouse and car park developments may be down the line, but the pitch is our priority and we hope to have that done this year, possibly starting as soon as this October. Whatever way people can contribute financially, everything is welcome. The pitches are being used seven days a week at the moment and they can’t take it. This development will also benefit the town and the local area. Who knows, maybe some country will be using Mullingar RFC as base for the 2023 World Cup, which could be held in Ireland,” said Michael, with a broad smile.
COST OF DEVELOPMENT
The total cost of the development including the new all-weather pitch and club developments will be in the region of €900,000. However the priority development is the new all-weather pitch and this is estimated to cost in the region of €500,000. However, taking into consideration that Mullingar RFC have a benefactor backing them to half that amount, and that they already have secured a Sports Grant, it is believed the club are already halfway towards raising the cost of Phase 1 of the development, which is great news for Mullingar RFC.
And it is believed because the initial financial backing is in place work can begin on the new pitch as soon as this October.

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