GAA club Na Fianna have created a new sports complex for members and the community of Glasnevin.
In 1967 after the Na Fianna clubhouse was destroyed by fire the club set about creating a new building in the grounds on Mobhi Road to cater for a range of activities.
Club secretary Dermot McNulty, that Na Fianna formed in April 1955 is a relatively new club. The grounds on Mobhi Road were obtained in April 1963 under a 21 year lease from the Commissioners of Public Works. Despite being one of the newest clubs in the city, it is also one of the biggest with around 500 members. The club plays hurling, football, handball and camogie from under 10s up. Na Fianna is also one of the few clubs in Dublin catering for ladies. About 250 of the 500 members are underage so there is an emphasis on young players.
Na Fianna has an established connection with St Vincent's CBS in Glasnevin so that many members stay with the club after they leave school.
We get them at a very early age from under 12. They play for the school team and play for Na Fianna at the same time.
Dermot McNulty says that the club has been marginally successful on the football field with one Senior Championship in 1969 to their name. At other levels, they have been reasonably successful but winning is not the be all and end all.
The Na Fianna clubhouse was designed and built to offer something more to its members, a place where people and families could meet. Jack Murphy of the building committee says,
We set out to build a pavilion.
Jack Murphy explains how the club originally bought a clubhouse from the Guinness sports grounds in Crumlin, took it down and moved it Mobhi Road in 1967. Within a fortnight of opening, the clubhouse was burnt down. The club immediately started work on building a new clubhouse with a ballroom, a handball alley, a lounge bar, and dressing rooms. There are also plans to build indoor games rooms. Na Fianna is one of the few clubs in the country with its own indoor handball alley which can be played year round.
Chairman of the club Sean Clerkin describes how the club has survived financially through fundraising social events, raffles, and sales of work. The club also receives about £500 per annum in membership fees. The cost of the rebuild is in the region of £60,000 of which the club has raised about £15,000. They are now left with a deficit of £45,000. They have received contributions from the GAA credit scheme as well as funding through various finance groups. Na Fianna is optimistic that they can pay off these debts within five years. Sean Clerkin says that the vision for the club is to be,
A GAA centre to facilitate the community and our own members.
A programme of events, including sport, music and and an all night céilí has been planned to mark the opening of the new clubhouse and pavilion.
This episode of 'Gaelic Report' was broadcast on 19 June 1972. The reporter is Mick Dunne.