Drainage works to increase availability of Kenny Park

By Ivan Smyth

Kenny Park is currently undergoing significant drainage works as the Athenry venue will not host club games for the rest of the year.

With the works beginning this Monday, the secretary of the Kenny Park Committee, Malachy Hanley confirmed that the pitch will be out of action for the rest of the year.

“There will definitely be no club games. When you are re-sowing the field or lawn then it will just take that bit of time. The drains need time to harden up. The pitch will be out of action for the year.”

The Athenry venue is a popular one among patrons but in recent times the pitch has been unable to host early season games. With more competitions running on a round robin basis, this therefore leads to more games and in turn greater demand for venues across the county.

Hanley says that these works should ensure that Kenny Park can host games earlier and later in the year.

“Looking back on it you could only use the pitch from around the first of April to roughly the 10th or 15th of October. With all the games now, we wanted to be able to host some during the year.

“We hope these works will help us host games earlier in the year, maybe from February on. It’s a brilliant summer pitch but earlier and later in the year it is nearly impossible to keep it going. The divots are unreal.”

The Carnmore man says that the vertical drainage system being implemented needs to be commenced during a period of grass growth, therefore ruling out the early part of the year. The works are only expected to last roughly two weeks, but the recovery period will ensure that the venue is not able to host games until next Spring.

The Athenry venue is considered the home of Galway hurling with its central location and accessibility from different parts of the country proving a hit with supporters. Hanley feels that supporters want to travel to Athenry for games and be able to watch their own sides battle it out for supremacy.

“We have teams training in Athenry so the pitch certainly gets used. A lot of country people can’t be going in to Pearse Stadium all the time. We know supporters like coming to Athenry because it is in between Turloughmore, Portumna, Castlegar, (St) Thomas’. Getting the work done is to try and help the clubs be able to play in the best conditions and not have the pitch cutting up on them in big games.”

Photo: Kenny Park, Athenry

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