Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mark Murnin, hosted a reception for Newry City Athletic Football Club to celebrate their remarkable rise through Irish League football and their promotion to the Premier League, in the Sean Hollywood Arts Centre on Friday 15 June 2018.
Speaking at the reception, Chairman Murnin said, “I am delighted to be able to celebrate Newry City AFC’s outstanding achievements during the past few seasons. Not only has the team been promoted to the Premier League after the 2017/18 season, but they have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the leagues over the past few years, winning four promotions in five seasons.”
Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin continued “I would particularly wish to congratulate team manager, Darren Mullen and Coaches, Raymond Byrne, Mickey Keenan, Jervis McCaul and Gary Boyle. They have been instrumental in the success of the team, ever since you reformed the club in March 2013. I am delighted that as a result of their outstanding year, they are now preparing for life in the Premier League. The Council and our community are very proud of each and every one of you.”
Chairman Murnin added, “I have no doubt everyone has trained exceptionally hard to achieve this promotion, demonstrating talent, dedication and commitment. I can only guess at the many weeks and months of hard work you have put into training. I also want to congratulate and thank all of the backroom staff and sponsors for the important part they play in the success of the team. We celebrate all those who have played a part in your achievement and know that you will continue to build on your remarkable accomplishments.”
The Chairman presented the team with an engraved crystal bowl to add to their trophy cabinet and mark their achievement.
Mayor Welcomes New Stand at Greenisland Football Club
Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston along with Deputy Mayor, Cllr Andrew Wilson and Cllr Bobby Hadden visited Greenisland Football Club to see the commencement of the works to provide a new 128-seater spectator stand and turnstiles, which will bring the grounds up to meet Intermediate League status requirements.
Mid and East Antrim Council in partnership with Greenisland Football Club have been working together to deliver this new stand. Through working in partnership, the club have been able to secure £45,000 of external funding and along with a contribution from the club Council are contributing £35,000 to deliver the £90,000 spectator stand.
Mayor, Cllr Peter Johnston said: Once again, I would like to pay tribute to Greenisland Football Club and in particular the time and commitment that the club members put into progressing this project.
“As a Council, we have been delighted to help fund a portion of this work and to enable the vision and objectives of the club to be met.
“Greenisland Football Club are a fantastic club and it is no surprise that they have recently been recognised from UEFA as one of the top grass roots football clubs in Europe.”
Mervyn Montgomery, Greenisland Football Club said: “We are indebted to the on-going support of our External Funders and Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, to enable us to build upon the existing facilities at Greenisland and to develop further our Community Sports Programs and Longer Terms Plans for the Club.”
This new stand will further enhance the major investment Mid and East Antrim Council made in 2018 through the delivery of a new 3G facility on the back of £100,000 of funding the club secured from SportNI.
The Club and Council had also secured external funding to upgrade the grass pitches, which are owned by the Council, in 2018 at a cost of £50,000.
Mid and East Antrim Council are committed to working with all groups within the borough to ensure that our ratepayers and residents have top class facilities which will improve their quality of life and their health and well-being.
Irish Football Association Skills Programmes Helping the Community
Economy Minister Diane Dodds has praised the work of the Irish Football Association in helping build the skills base of the local community.
The Minister met with community outreach staff from the IFA and heard about the work of the IFA Foundation, which has helped thousands of young people acquire a range of accredited qualifications since it was established in 2017.
The Minister said: “The IFA Foundation does excellent work in the local community building the skills base of young people. The Foundation helps young people attain vocational qualifications that not only make them more employable, but also boost their confidence and desire to potentially go on and study for more qualifications in future.
“This in turn embeds a culture of lifelong learning in young people. I know the IFA Foundation is keen to further build on their work by introducing apprenticeships and they have begun engaging with my Department to explore how this might be achieved.”
Keith Gibson, Acting Director of the Irish FA Foundation, said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome Minister Dodds to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park to discuss our employability programmes.
“We also talked about our vision for engaging young people, including the possibility of introducing apprenticeships at the Irish Football Association.”