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AN INDOOR FACILITY is among the plans for the development of the Active Kilrush Sports Complex.

Gallery Park Pitch a floodlit grass pitch of 100m x 70m which is the home of Kilrush Rangers AFC, a 400m running track, a 75m X 38m astro-turf pitch and Cappagh Playground are among the current facilities at Active Kilrush which was officially opened in February 2018.

Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) has called on the West Clare Municipal District in conjunction with the Housing Department to commence a public consultation process “for the development of Kilrush actively to provide an indoor sports facility with universally accessible toilets and changing rooms that will facilitate a basketball centre of excellence” for the area and county. He added, “The outcome of the public consultation process will inform the layout of the overall facility for future projects as well as input into Vision Kilrush”. His motion was seconded by Cllr Shane Talty (FF).

Acting senior executive officer in the West Clare MD, John O’Malley said they would work with the Social Directorate “on this public consultation process for the Active Kilrush proposed indoor facility. It is recognised that there is a need for an overall consultative phase to be completed to engage with all interested parties in developing this facility for the region. This consultative process will direct the next phase of development of a plan to be brought forward for planning and future funding applications and to tie in with Vision Kilrush”.

Speaking at the September meeting of the West Clare MD, Cllr Lynch stressed the importance of incorporating an indoor facility into planned development of the complex. “There is a huge need for this not just in Kilrush but in West Clare, I’ve said it many times before, the town is a DEIS town, sport and music are the things that bring the people together, without the facility we can’t bring people together, the current facility is super but it has a stigma around it that only certain people of the town can use it”.

Hope needs to be given to the people of Kilrush, Cllr Lynch said while referencing projects that Clare County Council’s Head of Sports and Recreation Tim Forde “wants to get going”. He stated, “This facility should be put in Kilrush and should be for all of West Clare. We need to get something going. We saw what Kilmihil could do with the People’s Park, people need to see it is viable”.

O’Malley acknowledged it was “a great opportunity” to develop Active Kilrush further. He recalled representations from members of the basketball community in the locality. “We need to keep it in the overall plan for Kilrush. I’m meeting Tim Forde to have a look at the existing fund and we’re going to see how we can be smart to drive forward”.

Basketball teams and basketballers from West Clare currently have to go to Ennis to train, Cllr Lynch responded. “It is hard enough to get young lads out to their doorstep to train, never mind to get them to Ennis and back”.

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