Benefitting From The Lion’s Share

Pictured, from left: Pierce FitzPatrick president Monkstown RFC, Lorcan Balfe president Leinster Rugby, Paddy Tucker, president Pembroke Cricketeers. 

By Kathrin Kobus

The rugby season has come to a close for Monkstown at the beginning of the month of April, but in preparation for the next season their athletes will have access to a new small gym area and the changing room facilities have been vastly improved and extended.

Now, the girl’s and women’s teams have their own changing rooms and showers. There is no mix-up possible. The ladies’ showers are the ones with curtains and single walk in cubicles.

The referees got their own refugee room as well, and not just a corner at the recreational/aka bar area or spending interval time in the car.

The man behind the plans, Monkstown’s Eamon Kelly, happily gave NewsFour a quick tour around the maze of rooms, the smell of fresh paint still lingering in some corners, but two members of Monkstown RFC were already busy trying out the new gym equipment while the festive part went ahead in the hall.

Local politicians Dermot Lacey, Paddy McCartan and Peter McLoone chair of the community gains fund joined members of Monkstown RFC and Pembroke Cricketeers at the official opening on March 21st.

The original plans for the clubhouse, as Monkstown president Pierce Fitzpatrick pointed out, were designed back in 1958 by well-known rugby player, Irish Lion, and Ireland hooker, Ronnie Dawson.

After more than half a century, more than just windows needed to be replaced and the whole building needed more than just a lick of paint. Apart from extension work at the clubhouse, additional work was put in to improve the drainage system of the pitches.

Covanta community gains fund provided €500,000 of the costs which ran to a little over €600,000 altogether. Pierce FitzPatrick, after calling time on his long standing career as a referee for health reasons, now wants to see through the full completion of the plans for the clubhouse.

Because all is not yet done, One third remains. “We still have plans and a new application is again with Covanta for the final bit”. So said Pembroke President Paddy Tucker who had copies of the plans for the new applications stacked away in a pink folder. The green grass doesn’t get much rest because after the rugby players have left, the cricketers are ready to go with their first friendlies and competitive fixtures coming up end of April.