Harps press on with development plans

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Paul Doogan

TÍR Conaill Harps Management Committee were recently pleased to announce that the club was launching its official plans to redevelop the pitch at Cambuslang Rugby and Sports Club.

In March 2019, Harps embarked on a sporting partnership with its friends at Cambuslang Rugby Club, which allowed the club to utilise the facilities at the clubhouse, as well as the training area and a place to call home.

The decision was taken at the AGM in November 2020 by the members that the club should look to the future and allow for the provision of a redeveloped playing surface for Harps’ many teams as the club continues to expand at all levels.

Everyone at the club is extremely excited about the plans, which it is hoped will be completed by August 2022. This is a huge decision for the club, but one that the current management committee will ensure is completed to allow the current adult teams and brilliant underage players to enjoy for many years to come. Thanks must go to club partners who have already pledged support and hope to recruit even more over the next few months.

As we look towards a brighter future as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, Harps want to ensure that it can provide hope and a brighter future for our players and coaches as we continue to develop Gaelic football in Glasgow. To hear about more about the plans, we hear from Tír Conaill Harps’ Chairman, Anton Gallagher.

What stages are the plans at now?
We have discussed the upgrade of our pitch at Cambuslang since 2019, when we first joined the Cambuslang Rugby and Sports Club. Consequently, these discussions formulated our three-year plan. Obviously with what has happened in the last year due to Covid-19, it delayed our plans. However, we have worked hard and completed the design and tender stage. The plans are approved and we launched the plans to the wider community four weeks ago. We are now currently in the process of finalising the funding required and the works will start in March 2022.

Why did the club choose to develop Cambuslang Sports and Rugby Club?
I think the members took the decision based on the fact the club has been without a proper home for far too long. Since the closure of Pearse Park in 2005, we have been without a proper home where the whole club could be based together. We have moved around Glasgow in a variety of locations, which ultimately caused a massive decline in the fortunes of the club on and off the field. The members wanted change in 2018 and this called for a development plan to be constructed. In 2019, that came with a massive restructure of the whole club. The members voted in a new committee and we quickly took the decision to base ourselves back within the Cambuslang area. With the facilities and infrastructure already in place at the sports club, we knew what could be achieved. The upgrade of the pitch will complete our vision and will allow us to build on the foundations we have put in place since 2019.

When should the first game be played and who will be playing on it?
We plan for the pitch to be completed and ready for games in August 2022.

How do you feel this will help promote Gaelic football in Glasgow?
This will only allow us to continue our development as a Gaelic football club, which we know has really grown since the restructure of the club in 2019. We have an underage system that has in the region of 100 players, which we feel, once we have a proper playing surface, will continue to increase over the next few years. We have increased our adult section from one men’s team to two adult men’s teams and one ladies’ team. Once the pitch is upgraded, it will allow us to use it all year round for all age groups, which is only a good thing and most importantly altogether in the one location.

How has the response to the pitch redevelopment been received?
It has been amazing. Our members already knew that we are a committee that doesn’t just talk about doing things, we put plans in to action. Our sponsors have been brilliant and are supporting us in achieving our plans, but most of all the local community and the rugby and sports club members have been great. We have received so many messages of support and good luck.

Paul Doogan is the PRO for Tír Conaill Harps GAC

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