Na Fianna build for another 50 years with Thornton Sports
21 March 2007
A huge redevelopment programme marked the 50th anniversary of the Na Fianna club in Dublin and now complete, an all weather synthetic pitch installed by Thornton Sports is one of the key elements as the club looks forward to a successful future.
Na Fianna celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2005. Founded in 1955, Na Fianna is unique in Dublin in that it incorporates into one club every facet of Gaelic games and culture, for men, women, boys and girls. Members partake in hurling, football, camogie, handball, racquetball, céilí dancing and snooker.
Membership is at an all-time high with over 1,800 members between the adult and minor grades. 60 teams take to the field each week, while the nursery on Saturday mornings caters for hundreds of local children in football, hurling and camogie.
In tandem with the landmark anniversary year, a €3.2m clubhouse redevelopment programme was completed that saw the clubhouse completely redeveloped with eight new dressing rooms, an adult weights room, a refurbished handball alley, extended social facilities, all of these enhancements have created a fantastic atmosphere within the club but perhaps one of their wisest choices was the inclusion of an all-weather training facility to the plans. With limited training ground it was important to maximise the space the club had available and having researched the area of synthetics thoroughly, Thornton Sports were selected to carry out this element of the development. The results have been dramatic with a well organised timetable. All the clubs football and hurling teams have the opportunity to prepare physically and develop their skills regardless of the weather. Without doubt the new all weather has relieved the wear and tear of the clubs main pitch.
Na Fianna Nursery
The Nursery is the heart of Na Fianna and is where the future senior players and life-long sport and healthy lifestyle enthusiasts are trained and coached in the skills of gaelic games in an atmosphere that emphasises participation and fun for all. Adopting the modern trends of small-sided games, low child-to-coach ratios, and reward and affirmation for all children, a staggering number of parents, often new to gaelic games, get involved in co-ordinating coaching sessions, where often the seeds of a long-term bond with the community club are formed. Na Fianna is very proud of its nursery and very appreciative of the work that so many parents, mentors, former players and current players put in at this crucial developmental level.
Lisney Na Fianna Mini-Leagues
Lisney Na Fianna Mini Leagues are run off in the evenings of June every year. Children from the surrounding areas from 12 years of age down take part in small-sided games of gaelic football, hurling and camogie. The culmination of the three-week activity is the Family Day, when all Cup and Shield Finals take place.
The ethos of the club is exemplified by the club motto which when translated reads: Purity in our hearts, Strength in our limbs, and Action according to our words.
The clubs senior football team are currently sponsored by BK Motors while the club colours of yellow and blue are now known nationally thanks to the success of the footballers at county and provincial level.
The club also has a great tradition of supplying players to Dublin teams with Senan Connell and Dessie Farrell, both playing huge roles for the Dublin senior footballers, before retiring. Aidan Downes, Tomas Brady and Joseph Boland represent the club with the county senior hurlers while Bernie Finlay, Rachel Barrett and Mary Nevin don the Dublin ladies jersey.
Maria OSullivan and Elaine OMeara represent the club on the Dublin senior camogie team while at underage level Jonathon Cooper (captain) and Conall McLoughlin are Dublin minor footballers while Wayne Brogan, Daire O Maoileidigh and Cooper are also involved with the capitals minor hurlers.
Na Fianna was founded in April 1955 following a split with the C.J. Kickham club. Twelve years later in 1967, the first clubhouse was burnt down, having only been erected months earlier, after the club transported the pavilion from the Guinness Sports Grounds in Crumlin. This galvanised members into building in 1972 the first clubhouse to cater for all gaelic games including handball, and a members bar. 1969, as well as marking the start of camogie in the club, heralded the first senior Dublin football championship win, followed by another a decade later in 1979, and then by the start of the three-in-a-row twenty years later in 1999. Ladies football commenced in the same year and has since grown from strength to strength. The €3m clubhouse redevelopment project at Mobhi Road will be officially opened on May 19th 2007 by An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern T.D.
Dick Ridge of Thornton Sports said “We are all very impressed with the end result at Na Fianna, the site was a tight area to manoeuvre in, given its proximity to both club house and main pitch but our lads were well up for the challenge. We have been delighted with the positive feed back we are receiving from club members and visitors.
“It was no surprise to hear RTE had selected Na Fianna for its Sunday Sport programme and broadcast a live link from the Club show casing its flood lit All Weather pitch. We would like to congratulate the Committee and membership at Na Fianna, it is clear to see they are a very forward thinking club and we wish them every success in the future.”
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