GALLERY: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: CLG Bun Cranncha

‘Our main aim is to get the children back out having fun, enjoying themselves together, back on the pitch, enjoying their games enjoying their friends’

There must be something in The Scarvey water!

Back in the 2015 day, Gaelscéalaí Inis Eoghain interviewed passionate CLG Bun Cranncha members Tommy O’Neill and Aidan Mulholland.

Fast forward to 2020 and step up Aine Daly, CLG Bun Cranncha’s Oifigeach Club Sláinte (Club Healthy Officer), a Gael through and through who is clearly very proud of her club.

Speaking to Gaelscéalaí Inis Eoghain during the time of coronavirus, Aine said CLG Bun Cranncha was using the enforced Covid-19 closure to upgrade The Scarvey pitches.

Aine said: “At the moment, in terms of football, we are trying to get the pitches upgraded. We are doing a lot of work on the pitches. We are verti-draining, which helps alleviate waterlogging and deep aerates the ground to promote healthy growth.

“In the goal mouth of the pitch, the grass is always worn more because the goalkeeper is there and there is more action there. We have re-seeded those too.

“We have also started work along the perimeter of the ground. We will be putting up a fence there, so have we started some of the safety work in preparation for that.

“One of our Executive Members is maintaining the ground and cutting the grass because we do not have the support of the community employment scheme at the minute, obviously they are not working at the minute. Another member of the Executive who lives nearby he is watering these patches in front of the goal mouths to maintain the growth there because they are so dry at the minute,” said Aine.

Off the field, CLG Bun Cranncha was doing a lot of volunteering work, helping, and supporting its local community.

Aine said: “We are involved with Donegal County Council’s Covid-19 Community Support Helpline:1800 928 982, which can be contacted from 9am to 9pm, seven days per week, by anyone needing assistance during the pandemic.

“We are delivering groceries for SuperValu. We are helping them with their deliveries. We have a big panel of volunteers. A lot of the volunteers are providing meals for elderly neighbours and family and friends near them. They are also doing shopping for their local neighbours that are cocooning.

“Some of the younger members, who are over 18 and don’t have access cars are walking people’s dogs, people who are cocooning. For some of our neighbours who live locally, we are collecting some prescriptions.

“We are also making a massive number of phone calls checking in, not just on the vulnerable and those cocooning, but also on vulnerable young people who may be isolated. This is a very unusual time for them. A couple of our members have also provided support to elderly people that have never filled in a form online before,” said Aine.

CLG Bun Cranncha volunteers were also delivering meals on wheels in their area.

Aine added: “We are supporting Buncrana Community Aid, which normally provided these meals three times a week, not just for Covid-19 but year on year, day on day. They normally provided these, but a lot of their volunteers were immunocompromised or were over 70 themselves.

“One of CLG Bun Cranncha’s members also works with some vulnerable young people. He has given a talk to them on ‘resilience’ via Zoom, on how to cope and how to manage during the Covid-19 situation.

“We also have a couple of volunteers doing hospital transport for people who needed to go to hospital for check ups or appointments or admissions. We have had a number of those as well. CLG Bun Cranncha is very, very busy off the field at the minute.

“Our coaches and managers are still trying to keep in touch with their teams, providing training online. A lot of them have their own wee groups and they do face-to face calls and link into Donegal GAA, who are also providing the coaching,” said Aine.

There was a virtual competition going on between the senior teams in Inishowen in which CLG Bun Cranncha was also participating.

There was still ‘training’ too albeit player’s on their own or with their brothers and sisters.

Aine added with empathy: “I know the young ones are all missing their friends and cannot wait to get back to their wee groups, but we just have to stay safe. The longer we stay safe, the sooner we get back.

“Going forward from here, hopefully our pitches will be in great nick when we get back to The Scarvey. The aim is to get our teams back playing as soon as possible. But within the grounds of safety and we will take all direction from PHA in relation to that.

“There is very little fundraising going on at the minute and a lot of this development work is still going on and is going to cost a lot of money so I would say once we get back into business, one of the main things will be to try to do some sort of fundraiser. But the main aim is to just get the children back out having fun and enjoying themselves together. The big aspirations will be put to the side for now just the simple things in life. Get back on the pitch enjoy your games and enjoy your friends will be the main aim initially going forward.

“Our senior men were just relegated from Division Two to Division Three. Their aim now is to get out of Division Three and consolidate their position in Division Two,” said Aine.

The CLG Bun Cranncha senior men had also reinstated themselves back in the Intermediate Championship, ‘Where they should be,’ said smiled Aine.

She added: “They won the Junior Championship last season. They will trying to consolidate that position and remain in Intermediate Championship and put their best foot forward but whether any football takes place this year or not, who knows?

“Our ladies team won their title last year so they should be playing senior football this year. That would be difficult ask for them because they are playing against a lot of big teams, the likes of Termon, who have reached All Ireland Finals.

“It would be a great experience for them. There are a lot of young players coming through that team and the experience of playing against teams at that level and of and that standard will no doubt bring their football on as well.

“It will be up to the older girls in the team to put their shoulders to the wheel and guide the youngsters forward and take it from there. Hopefully, they can remain there. It is a big ask. But I feel we have a good strong middle third in that team, a strong line down the middle and if they put their shoulder to the wheel those girls can match the best of them,” said Aine.

CLG Bun Cranncha was concentrating on promoting health and well during the coronavirus crisis.

Aine urged members to: “Stay safe. Wash your hands. Socially distance and stay at home.”

“I know it’s not easy,” said Aine, “but, I hope everyone will persevere.

She added: “And I could not forget CLG Bun Cranncha’s Scór success. We got to the Ulster Final of this year’s competition, but we are not sure what is going to happen going forward and that event was postponed due to coronavirus.

“Club man, Jack O Loughlin, also received Hurling Award at Donegal Sports Star awards.

“Last year our club achieved a phenomenal amount of awards both on and off the pitch. Our Senior Men won Junior County Championship and brought a great buzz to Buncrana by making it all the way to the Ulster final. Unfortunately, they lost a tight battle to Monaghan champions, Blackhill. Our Senior Hurlers also gave a good account of themselves and competed well against the top teams.

“Off the pitch at the Donegal County Board awards, Buncrana were awarded Junior Club of the Year and our Senior Manager Malachy McCann was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his dedication to promoting Gaelic games and assisting in developing the fantastic club facilities we now have available in Buncrana,” said Aine.

CLG Bun Cranncha also received the Fondúireacht Sheosaimh Mhac Dhonncha Silver Award.

Said Aine: “This followed a massive amount of work from our Cultural Officer John Mc Carron and Club Secretary at the time Gráinne Uí Chearáin. One of the things they developed in the club was Ciorcal Comhrá (Irish conversation classes).

“Having just received our Healthy Club Award from Croke Park after a period of 18 months, CLG Bun Cranncha is determined to return to playing as soon as possible.

“We want to have as many children as possible in our parish playing our games and most importantly having fun.

“CLG Bun Cranncha will remain a vital and integral asset to our club members, our community and everyone living in it. That was reflected in the care packages, which were delivered to staff in medical centres, district nursing and staff and residents in nursing homes in our area, last week,” concluded Aine with a smile.




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