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Aodhán Ó Sé in action for the St Flannan’s Basketball team in the All- Ireland U19 C Boys Schools Cup. Photograph: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile

BASKETBALL’s growth in Co Clare has prompted an Ennis councillor to seek the addition of a playing court at Lees Rd.

Citing “regular requests from both young people and not so young” plus a “growing number of children and adults in Ennis and surrounding areas,” Cllr Mary Howard (FG) asked that the Ennis Municipal District “seriously consider” the provision of a basketball court at Lees Rd.

Head of Sports and Recreation with Clare County Council, Tim Forde stated that they were “not in a position presently to provide a basketball court” at Lees Rd.

He explained, “we do not possess the necessary budget and funding. We too have received the requests for a court and are going to scope out the possibility of same. That said, we will in the interim conduct a feasibility study, determining technical requirements and financial costs. Once complete and if favourable, Sports and Recreation will investigate available financial support, in-house and from the SCEG funding when next available”.

Speaking at the May meeting of the Ennis MD, Cllr Howard noted “by all accounts we have successful teams but only a finite amount of places to play”. She was adamant Lees Rd was “the natural place” to locate a basketball court. “It is an amazing facility with so much going on. The footprint of a basketball court is quite small but the amount of use it gets is very high”.

Ennis representatives must “keep pushing for it,” Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy maintained while seconding the proposal. “I see the young people in Fair Green, it is fantastic to see the youth playing. During COVID, there was issues with too many of them getting together and they had to take down the hoops, I got a lot of phonecalls at the time, it is a sport that seems to have increased over the years, the younger generation should be getting the opportunity to play indoor and outdoor,” Mayor of the Ennis MD, Cllr Ann Norton (IND) commented.

According to Cllr Pat Daly (FF), “basketball is becoming a huge sport” in the county. “In my days gone by as a parliamentary assistant with Tony Killeen, I mentioned the idea of a running track and it got €2m,” he claimed. He suggested a similar approach might work by contacting Clare’s current Oireachtas members. Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) committed to raising the matter at a meeting of the Active Ennis committee.
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