Gluepot on course for reopening to the public

By Maurice Garvey

IN FEBRUARY 2020, a small voluntary group of people, who worked for years to save their pitch and putt club from financial destruction, finally moved onto the next step – making the course playable again.

The only problem was by this stage - grass on the green was up to their bellies.

Glue Pot 02 Ann Dowling 1

The late Ann Dowling (Treasurer) in 2019 with Joe Connor (Secretary) and Martin Gouldsbury (Chairman)

“We had to hire grass strimmers and strim our way in – we didn’t know where the greens were, where the sprinklers were, it took us a couple of months to get it down to ground level,” said Joe Connor, Secretary of Clondalkin Paper Mills Sports and Social Club (CPM).

“We worked our way in from the bridge. It was a rotten old wooden bridge, so we have replaced that with a metal one and got all the equipment fixed in the shed, which was growing moss.”

Back in 2016, CPM, a club set up for workers at the former paper mills, was facing financial ruin.

However, Joe and four other people Martin Gouldsbury (Chairman), Bobby Roe (Asst Secretary), the late Ann Dowling (Treasurer) and Alan Doyle (Asst Treasurer), formed a committee and implemented changes, which included the sale of two acres (nine of the 18 holes) to pay off debts and save the club from extinction.

Local agents O’Dwyer English Auctioneers were instructed to bring the lots to the market and two acres were bought by developers Rhonellen Properties Limited for an elderly housing scheme.

Glue Pot new course 1

The layout of the CPM new pitch and putt course

The nine hole course will re-open to the public on May 10, offering reasonable prices – €5 green fees for an adult non-member - a remarkable recovery for the small club but it has been a bittersweet journey.

Sadly, Ms Dowling passed away two months ago - she had attended a committee meeting that day.

“She had just been at a committee meeting that morning, it was out of the blue, very sad but her legacy lives on with the work she did for this club and the community,” said Joe.

Glue Pot 02 Ann Dowling 1

The Clondalkin Paper Mills Pitch and Putt Course

After years of hard committee work to save the club’s future, the next stage was a renovation of the clubhouse in 2019, and then onto the course itself last February.

“The committee asked Stan McAuley and Gerry Redmond would they be interested in looking after the course if we got it back into shape.

“The committee with Stan and Gerry got stuck in and with the help of Billy Burke and Eddie Lane for the past 15 months have got the course into great shape,” said Joe, who took the striking drone picture overlooking the course.

There is approximately 250 members, but only 30/40 would have been active users, however Joe hopes the re-opening will attract people back, both members and non-members alike.

“Our fees are very good compared to other places. For green fees teenagers pay €3, over 18s it is €5, over 65s €3 and there is a weekly rate €15 Monday to Saturday, you can play as many times as you want.

“These prices are great for getting kids off the street. There is also supervision for children.

“The club is in a central village location near transport links. They are reasonable fees but that is just for the maintenance of the course. This is all voluntary at the club. You wouldn’t believe the work that goes behind it all,” Joe explained.

The course officially re-opens on Saturday, May 8, with members invited to play the course for the weekend free, and then from May 10, it is open to the public.

Visitor can rent clubs, buy golf balls at the club, and they hope to be open during the Summer from 8.30am/9am to 7.30pm/8pm.

Joe reckons four of the nine holes are the most challenging, with hole one the longest at 68 metres alongside the water, and tree obstacles in place at 8 and 9.

The club bar is known as the gluepot, as workers used to glue bags in the paper mills.

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