Community pulls together to help reopen club lounge

By Mary Dennehy

A SOCCER clubhouse in Tallaght is pitch perfect this week after a massive community effort resulted in the re-opening of the premises’ lounge – after the building was gutted in a fire last year.

Marks Celtic in Springfield lost its bar area, office space and roof to an early morning blaze in the spring of 2014, with firefighters, who tackled the fire for three hours, managing to save the clubhouse’s changing rooms.

As reported in The Echo at the time, the club was under pressure to get a new roof on the premises in an attempt to curb further damage to the interiors – with damages already costing tens of thousands.

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John Whelan, schoolboy club welfare officer with Marks Celtic, said: “We were fully insured at the time of the fire but the insurance company was not in a position to work with us until we got a roof on the premises and we were conscious of water damage, so a new roof was vital – and amazingly four weeks after the fire we had one, thanks to the local community.

“Local tradesmen, club members, the wider soccer community and residents all pulled together and helped us to raise a new roof, we couldn’t believe the support we received.”

Last Friday, the new lounge in Marks Celtic was officially opened much to the delight of the club and residents.

“We were delighted to officially open the lounge last Friday”, John said. “Not only is the bar an extra fundraising avenue for the club, takings feed into the senior football side, but it is also an important social hub for people in the area.

“It’s a great meeting place for residents and for local sporting teams, and we can’t thank the community and local businesses enough for all of their help. The lounge has re-opened because of a massive community effort.” 

Materials and labour for part of the roof was donated by local tradesmen and business, while the rest of the roof was raised through various fundraising drives including a Buy a Tile campaign – which saw members of the schoolboy teams knocking on doors and inviting residents to donate €3 for a tile.

The club has seven school boy teams, two senior teams and is establishing additional juvenile and over 35s teams.

To contact Marks Celtic, which was established in the early seventies, call 087 8527306 or visit its Facebook page or www.markscelticfc.com

 

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