FIRIES GAA Club has been granted planning permission for the development of new playing pitches at its facility near the village.
The club, which is in existence since 1962, has seen a massive membership growth over the past 10 years and it now boasts 550 members, 300 of which are juveniles.
The club adopted the One Club model in 2020 and now includes over 200 female members with ladies’ football teams up to minor level. Firies also has a vibrant hurling club catering for juvenile hurlers in the mid Kerry hinterland.
Kerry Country Council has granted planning for a facility at Ballinvarrig, Firies which includes two grass pitches and a community walking track which takes in part of the old Farranfore to Valentia railway line.
Club chairman, Tom Kelliher, said securing planning permission was great news for the progressive club which can now proceed with its ambitious plans.
“While Páirc Eamonn in Farranfore will continue to be our main pitch, this new facility will facilitate the growing numbers of underage players across all codes,” he said.
“There is just not enough space or time slots available at Páirc Eamonn for the huge numbers now at the club and training for youth teams is suffering as a result,” the chairman added.
He acknowledged that securing planning is just the beginning of the process and he said there’s a long way to go in terms of raising funds for the new development.
Mr Kelliher said the past year has been very difficult for everyone but the news that planning has been received will give the community in Firies a ray of hope for the future.
“The facility has the support of local community groups and I look forward to stepping up
fundraising for the new training facility as soon as Covid restrictions are lifted,” he said.
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