Writes Leo McMahon
Everyone is a winner with the excellent new footpath linking Ballygarvan GAA Club and the local national school, the official opening of which took place on a sunny Sunday, October 20th.
Kindly funded by Roadstone, the path is a joint venture between the school and the GAA in Ballygarvan and since its unofficial opening at the start of the school term in September, has been a huge success with around 200 pupils using it daily.
The facility enables parents to drop off their children at the spacious GAA car park off the busy R613 highway and be assured that without anxiety, they can walk in safety and get a little bit of fresh air and exercise to and from school each day on the concrete path running alongside one of the pitches. It has also served to ease congestion in the village where there continues to be a set-down at the main entrance to the school.
On October 2nd, the school held a ‘Walk on Wednesday’ in conjunction with the Green School committee and over 300 pupils walked to school accompanied by parents and Green School Travel Officer, Catherine Russell.
There was a large attendance for the cutting of the tape to mark the official opening next to the car park where Michael O’Brien, chairperson and Pat Daly, president welcomed everyone on behalf of Ballygarvan GAA Club. Pat said it was an example of co-operation between and community spirit by the GAA club, the school and a local business in overcoming a problem.
There was also a welcome from principal of Ballygarvan NS Mariead Coakley who thanked the GAA club, Cathy Ashman of Ballygarvan Pre-School who share the car park; the Parents Association and Green School sub committee involving teachers, parents and pupils who since autumn 2018 looked at different solutions; the school board of management, the student council and Roadstone (who operate a local quarry) for a high standard wheelchair and buggy friendly path.
Following the cutting of the tape and a photo call, the path was walked and there was another photo call at the entrance to the school garden. The attendance included Yvette Frost (parents nominee on the board with Willy O’Callaghan) Liam O’Donovan, Jackie Fitzgerald and Anne O’Connor who between them represented the board, teachers and Green School committee and the student council as well as adult and under age GAA club members and several children from the school which has 400 pupils and an on-site activity trail in memory of community activist Kevin Cleary.
Pat Sweeney Cup
Michael O’Brien pointed out that to coincide with the opening, the inauguaral hurling tournament game between Ballygarvan and Shanballymore was being played in memory and honour of the late Pat Sweeney, a native of Shanballymore in North Cork who moved to Ballygarvan around 40 years and became an outstanding servant of the South East club at all levels, including chairperson and board delegate.
The attendance included his widow Margaret Sweeney, his sisters Mary O’Sullivan and Eileen Cogan and brother John; Pat’s daughter Sinead, husband Mark Shannon and children James and Freya; his son Donal Sweeney and wife Catriona and children Daniel and Katherine.
The result was Shanballymore 2-21 Ballygarvan 3-6 and the perpetual cup was presented to Alan Sheedy, captain of the winning team by Pat Sweeney’s grandsons James and Daniel. Michael O’Brien presented a plaque to both teams to mark the occasion. Excellent catering was provided by the host club after the game.
Ballygarvan, which has up to 600 members, is enjoying a great year having won the County Premier 2 Under 16 Football championship and the Mid-South Rebel Og U-14 and minor hurling competitions.
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