Kenny returns for official opening of Tallaght Town AFC’s new clubhouse
Stephen Kenny at the official opening of Tallaght Town AFC's new Mick Whelan Clubhouse at Carolan Park Photo by Paddy Barrett

Kenny returns for official opening of Tallaght Town AFC’s new clubhouse

FORMER player and manager at Tallaght Town AFC, Stephen Kenny, returned to the club today to help officially launch their state-of-the-art new clubhouse.

Crowds gathered to see the official opening of Tallaght Town’s clubhouse, named the Mick Whelan Clubhouse after the club’s secretary who sadly passed away in 2019 after a battle with cancer.

Located at Carolan Park on Ballymana Lane in Kiltipper, the new facility was built after fundraising efforts by the members over the last two years, raising €35,000 themselves and a €150,000 grant from the government’s sport capital funding programme in 2017.

In attendance at the official opening was Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny, Minister for Sport Jack Chambers local councillors Teresa Costello, Charlie O’Connor and John Lahart as well as chairman of the club Alan Merriman, members of the club and many of Mick Whelan’s friends and family.

In addition to new classroom and changing facilities, the completed state-of-the-art clubhouse boasts a club shop, office space, a referee changing room and a games room.

Speaking about the new clubhouse, Chairman Alan Merriman said: “It is a really special day for the club, and it is great to see some former players here today.

Stephen Kenney presents Tallaght Town’s Director of Football, Michael Kinsella with the clubs FAI Club Mark Entry Leve Award

“Mick Whelan gave his absolute heart and soul to this club, and he was a gentleman. He basically was the driving force behind the club, and we really appreciate everything that he did for us. Not only was he a great player, but he was also a genuine and great human being.

“When we walked in here five years ago it was basically a hay field with two burnt out dressing rooms and it was our goal to provide proper facilities that our kids deserve.”

Speaking at the opening, Stephen Kenny said: “It is amazing to see this facility and to see the club so vibrant today.

“It’s brilliant to have the pitches, the maintenance and the coaches who are all doing brilliant work. It is great to see the teams growing and the boys and girls progressing through the ranks who will go on to bigger and greater things.

“It is a great community effort and a big well done to everyone for their brilliant work in getting the funding.”

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