Páirc Acla the home of Fintown Harps
A tiny soccer club that defied the odds is preparing to mark a very impressive milestone next year. Fintown Harps will celebrate 20 years on the pitch in 2022.
Situated in the heart of An Gaeltacht Láir in the middle of Donegal, the Harps not only field a senior team but provide a range of opportunities for local children ranging from under 8s upwards.
Apart from a Division Two League title in 2012 and the Downtown Saturday League Cup 2013, the room in the senior trophy cabinet has space for a few more trophies.
But that's not the priority for the club. It is more interested in providing an enjoyable outlet for the small population.
Their never day die attitude has stood well to them in an area that is constantly being challenged by a number of things like emigration, fewer work opportunities and facilities for younger people.
On the field all their teams have shown a proficiency, skill, growth, resilience, inspiration and tenacity over nearly two decades and have earned the respect of opponents in the various competitions they enter.
Now however, like all clubs during this Covid era, funds are diminishing as fundraising events have come to a standstill and as senior team manager Paddy Molloy explains, the bills still have to be paid
“We are a rural football club with a small population and in these present times we find it hard to raise funds to keep the bills paid.”
True to form the club has come up with a novel way of raising the cash while having a bit of craic at home and further afield.
“We’ve decided as a committee to run a virtual 5k walk /run on the last weekend of April to help raise much needed funds to help keep our wee club in the Gaeltacht Láir going for the local and neighbouring towns around Fintown.”
Paddy and the team are asking their friends locally and further afield because there are a lot of people from this area scattered all over the world, to join in the fund and get behind the Harps.
“Anyone can get involved from Cork to Donegal and Australia to America, we will welcome everyone who wants to help out and keep football and facilities in this community as we approach 20 years in the game,” he said.
In fact Paddy has been setting an example for others to follow as he’s been poundings the highways and byways of Fintown in a bid to get to Half-Marathon status by the end of the month so if you see him on the road honk your horn and wish him well.
There will be a prize for the top runner/walker. Entrants must send proof of their 5k and time through Facebook or text to any of the club committee members.
There is an entry fee of €10 and the run/walk must take place between Friday, April 30 and Sunday, May 2.
Like so many small clubs dotted throughout the county, Fintown Harps are not over-burdened with a massive cash flow or lucrative transfer deals which might see them through the leaner times.
The committee work hard to make sure teams that come to their fabulously located pitch, Páirc Alca, are treated with the best hospitality going off the pitch and given the game of their lives on the pitch.
Now is the time for everyone to answer their call for a little help and get behind this latest effort to keep the club going.
You can contact the club through Facebook or via their e-mail: Fintownharps@yahoo.com or through Paddy himself at (086) 8174424
Up the Harps!
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