Official opening of Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh
Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh now one of the best pitches in county
President of Ulster Council Tom Daly gets backing of Peter Quinn for GAA top job
Donegal slip down to Sligo defeat
Friday, 29th May 2009, was a historic day for Aodh Ruadh as the club officially opened their new facilities at Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, the venue previously known as Munday's field.
The festivities opened with a parade from the Abbey Centre of around two hundred Aodh Ruadh young players led by the Saint Naul's Pipe Band from Ardaghy. The parade received a friendly reception from the revelers in town for the Rory Gallagher festival and enjoying the beautiful weather. Once at the park the players broke up and staged mini-games and blitzes.
With the underage games concluded it was time for the formal opening ceremony compered by senior manager, Sylvester Maguire. This began with an interdenominational prayer service and was followed by a formal address by Pat O'Malley, Chairman of Ballyshannon Town Council. Next was Aodh Ruadh Club Chairman Terence McShea who was followed by Peter Quinn who delivered a rousing speech. Speeches from the Tánaiste, Mary Coughlan, and President of the Ulster Council, Tom Daly concluded the formal addresses.
Speeches complete Tom Daly and Mary Coughlan cut the tape to officially open Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh and unveiled a plaque specially commissioned to commemorate the occasion. The Donegal team, captained by Aodh Ruadh's Brian Roper, were lead out on to the new pitch by young members of Aodh Ruadh before the match. Johnny Gallagher, another Aodh Ruadh county man, took the captain's arm band in the second half.
The match mightn't have gone Donegal's way, the Sligo men prevailing by 2-15 to 1-13, but it was a proud day for Aodh Ruadh and Ballyshannon as they opened this fine new facility. After the match there was an entertaining open reception in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh.
For those who might have missed out on the pageantry the souvenir booklet printed specially for the official opening is now on sale in Pearse O'Neill's priced €5. An excellent and detailed publication which is certain to become a collector's item in years to come it's well worth getting your hands on one now while you still can. >
Many thanks to Brian Drummond for the pictures