AN impressive all-weather astro turf playing pitch, developed at the rear of a Killarney primary school, has been dedicated to the memory of a former parish priest who helped fund the facility through a generous personal donation in his will.
When he passed away in 2001, the much-loved Fr James Galvin had set aside over €90,000 for the development of the sports facility at Fossa National School and his generosity helped turn the project into a reality.
Now the parishioners of Fossa have said a big thank you to the late parish priest in the best way possible – by naming the state-of-the-art facility the Fr James Galvin Park.
The all-weather sports pitch, suitable for a variety of uses, was a key part of a €540,000 amenity development at the school and it also boasts a 200m athletics track while the astro turf can be adapted to cater for several other uses.
In addition to providing first class facilities for the pupils, the pitch is also available to the general public and it is capable of hosting two five-a-side matches at any given time or as a full size pitch to accommodate an eight-a-side game.
The top class surface was laid by sports surfaces specialist Sam Leech and the main contractor was Michael Cronin of Redmore Developments.
The Bishop of Kerry, Ray Browne, officially opened the new pitch last week and blessed other major new developments that have been undertaken at Fossa National School. In recent years, five new classrooms, a school library, special sensory rooms and a soft play area have all been provided as part of a €1.5m development.
Joining Bishop Browne at the dedication ceremony was current parish priest of Fossa Canon Tomás Looney, his predecessor Fr Brendan Harrington and school principal Pat Clifford who praised the work, dedication and contribution of Fr James Galvin.
Up to the time of his passing, Fr Galvin had been President of the East Kerry Board since 1969 and he had a lifelong passion for the GAA.
Born in Dingle in 1918, he played at midfield for the Kerry minors in 1936 in a star-studded side that boasted Joe Keohane, Bill Casey and Gega O’Connor.
Following his ordination, he was a curate in Caherdaniel and Glenflesk and he also served in Moyvane, Droumtariffe, Rathmore and, finally, Fossa where he spent 26 years as parish priest.
It was Fr Galvin that spearheaded the purchase and development of the new Fossa GAA headquarters.
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