3G Pitch At Ballyhornan Family Centre Officially Opened

Launch of new 3G pitch with changing facilities at Ballyhornan Family Centre

Launch of new 3G pitch with changing facilities at Ballyhornan Family Centre

A £1.2m investment in new sporting and leisure facilities at Ballyhornan Family Centre has now been completed.

The construction of a full sized 3G sports pitch with changing facilities, floodlighting, fencing and an adjoining car park will bring significant benefits to the local community.

At the official opening of the 3G pitch at the Ballyhornan Family Centre are Newry Mourne and Down District Council chairperson, Cllr Cathy Mason; Patricia Curran, chairperson of the Ballyhornan Family Centre; and Matthew McKenna of the Celtic Bhoys soccer club now based at the new 3G pitch.

The Executive Office’s Social Investment Fund provided significant investment of around £1.1m for the project, with an additional £125,000 being provided by Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

The new facilities will increase access to community and leisure services by providing a fit-for-purpose, safe and structured environment to meet the needs and expectations of the Ballyhornan community and surrounding areas, and most importantly, contribute to improved levels of health and well-being of all citizens within the local area.

Newry Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Cathy Mason said: “One of the Council’s key objectives is to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in the district and reduce health inequalities.

At the official opening of the 3G pitch at the Ballyhornan Family Centre are, (back row l-r), Alastair Walker, Executive Office; Matthew McKenna, Celtic Bhoys FC; Kenny Knox, Strategic Investment Board; Connall Kearney and Alfie Taggart, Ballyhornan Community Association. Front row: Cllr Dermot Curran; South Down MP Chris Hazzard; Cllr Oonagh Hanlon; Jennifer Curran, Ballyhornan Family Centre member; Cllr Cathy Mason, Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council; Noel and Patricia Curran (chair), Ballyhornan Family Centre; South Down MLA Colin McGrath; Liam McLernon, senior Council officer; Nicholas McCrickard; manager of the County Down Rural Community Network; and Marie Ward, CEO of Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

“This new facility will become a thriving hub that will have a hugely positive impact on the local area, benefitting the health and wellbeing of people of all ages by offering improved access to modern sporting facilities.

“This fantastic new facility is an excellent example of partnership working between statutory and voluntary groups and the health and wellbeing impact on our community will be immense”.

Ballyhornan Family Centre Chairperson, Patricia Curran, said: “We are delighted to finally have a completed facility after years of rallying to secure funding for a 3G All Weather Pitch. 

Matthew McKenna of Celtic Bhoys beside one of the dugouts at the new 3G pitch at Ballyhornan Family Centre.

“We are very grateful to all the statutory bodies and our local Council who supported us throughout this campaign as without them we would not have achieved our goal.

“This pitch will be a great asset to Ballyhornan and outlaying communities and we are very appreciative of this opportunity to provide a top of the range sports’ facility to local and surrounding areas.”

Patricia Curran added: “We would like to extend a special thank you to all the people who assisted us throughout the process, particularly Liam McLernon, Councillor Dermot Curran and past Council chair Naomi Bailie who supported us immensely. Additionally, the support of Celtic Bhoys Football Club was essential in making this project a success and they are now enjoying the full benefit of the project.”

The Chairman of Celtic Bhoys FC, Paul Moore, said: “This project has been seven years in the making. Our committee stuck with it through this time and we are delighted with the results. We have worked closely with Patricia Curran of the Ballyhornan Family Centre and we are grateful for her support and that of all the agencies involved.

In the clubroom: l-r, 3rds team manager, Mark Leahy, with Aaron McGarry, Donal McCavera, and Mark Cahir.

“Our club has around 150 seniors and juniors and they will really enjoy these new top-of-the-range facilities. We have three senior teams, an U19 team, and a number of junior teams. The seniors play in the Newcastle and District Amateur Football League, the U19s play in the Belfast League and the juniors play in the Downpatrick Youth Football League.

“At the Ballyhornan Community Centre we not only have a fantastic 3G pitch and state-of-art changing rooms, but we have a club room too where we can meet and serve up refreshments. This initiative is a huge boost to local soccer.

“Also, given the importance of looking after our mental health in these difficult times, the 3G pitch has arrived at a good time where our members can really benefit from the facilities provided.”