Excitement In Ardfert NS As Sports Hall Project Receives €75,000 In Funding

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At the announcement of €75,000 funding for a sports hall at Ardfert NS were, at back; Anne Marie Russell, Helena Clifford, Deputy Martin Ferris, Minister Brendan Griffin, Principal Betty Stack, Mayor of Tralee MD Jim Finucane, Diane Jeffers of Cillard Camogie and Marie O’Connell. In front Peter O’Mahony and Aoibhín Ferris. Photo by Dermot Crean

MINISTER of State for Sport and Tourism, Brendan Griffin, received a warm welcome in Ardfert National School on Friday morning when he announced funding of €75,000 for a sports hall project.

There was further good news for Ardfert with the announcement of €50,889 for Ardfert Community Council Ltd to develop a GAA Pitch and jogging track, both allocations coming from the Sports Capital Grants programme which saw €1.6m announced for 54 Kerry projects today.

The sports hall is to be built on the grounds of the school and the funding should see real progress for the project.

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“With this grant, it brings the amount raised to €240,000 and that’s enough to get us over the line to progress the project,” said Principal of Ardfert NS, Betty Stack, who said the project should go out to tender after the next board meeting.

“It’s an 18 metre by 21 metre sports hall with a moveable stage. We can have concerts and different activities inside. Our partners in this application were Cillard Camogie Club and they’ll be able to practise their skills. When this is built, Ardfert will come alive. Our aim is that this facility is for the community and we’ll be keeping it open as much by day as by night,” said Betty.

She thanked the local community for coming together to hold fundraising events for the project, which included a night at the dogs which raised €25,000 earlier this year and amounted in all to €165,000.

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Mrs. Stack said the announcement was inspirational for the children and they would forever remember the benefits of hard work and self-belief.

Minister Griffin said he was delighted to visit the school and recalled being there for a meeting on the project last November and being impressed by the enthusiasm of the parents council and fundraising committee.

“The real credit goes to the parents council and the fundraising committee. We wouldn’t be here without this being community led. The real thanks goes to the community who dug deep, put their hands in their pockets and made sacrifices,” said Minister Griffin.

He also thanked his party colleague Mayor of Tralee Municipal District and fellow Kerry TDs present, Fianna Fáil’s John Brassil and Sinn Féin’s Martin Ferris, whom he said have been a pleasure to work with and are keen to see the project go ahead as they know how much it means to the community.

Diane Jeffers and members of Cillard Camogie who are pupils at Ardfert NS, with Minister Brendan Griffin. Photo by Dermot Crean

Minister Brendan Griffin addressing pupils, staff and parents at Ardfert NS on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

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