Plans for all-weather pitch near Esker backed by FAI and council

By Brendan Grehan

HERMITAGE PARK in Lucan could have an accessible all-weather pitch under a joint initiative from South Dublin County Council and the FAI.

Councillors in South Dublin County Council have given their backing for proposals to develop a new, accessible all-weather pitch which will be located in the park adjacent to Esker Celtic Football Club. It will enhance leisure facilities and boost participation for young people with disabilities in the county.

Representatives from the FAI Mayor of South Dublin County Council Guss OConnell and Esker Celtic Football Club

The proposed Frame Football facility would cater for the footballing needs of children with disabilities, who require the use of a walker-style frame.

Improving access to sports is a key public health priority for the council in encouraging and facilitating participation and engagement. The benefits of physical activity are universal for all children, including those with disabilities.

The participation of children with disabilities in sports and recreational activities promotes inclusion, improves mobility and enhances overall well-being.

Cllr. Guss O’Connell, Mayor of SDCC told The Echo: “I am delighted that the council are working on this fantastic project with the FAI and Esker Celtic FC.

"This will be the first dedicated frame football facility in the Dublin area and confirms this council’s commitment to providing accessible sporting opportunities and facilities for all.

"This proposed new facility in Lucan will encourage more young people in South Dublin to participate in healthy sporting activities.”

The Chairperson of Esker Celtic Football Club, Paul Cleary, said that Esker Celtic and the FAI have been working together on ‘Football for All’ programmes since 2012. Currently they have 22 children ranging in ages from 6-16 years enrolled in the programme.

Mr Cleary said: “ In November 2015 we were approached by the FAI to pilot a new programme for children who use frames as their main mode of mobility and we currently have nine ‘Frame Users’ registered in the programme.

"As a club we very much welcome the development of this new facility which will enable us to be fully inclusive by encouraging children of all abilities to participate in sport and most importantly, have fun.”

John Delaney, CEO of the FAI thanked South Dublin County Council for their partnership in the development of the facility. 

He said: “I’d like to thank Mayor Guss O’Connell and South Dublin County Council for their backing and commitment to develop this fantastic Frame Football facility at Esker Celtic FC.

"Our partnership with South Dublin County Council will provide a great platform for young people with disabilities to experience the joys of football that everybody, no matter what their ability, should enjoy”.

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