Supporters of Bushmills United’s dream of playing intermediate football are hoping to find the net with plans aimed at helping the club achieve just that.
TUV councillor Sharon McKillop tabled a proposal at a meeting of Moyle District Council last week which stated:
“That the Council Sports and Leisure Committee investigate the various funding opportunities available to facilitate the erection of required fencing at Dundarave Park that will enable Bushmills United to participate at an intermediate level.”
She added: “Investment would represent a boost to the community.
“They are a cross community football team.”
The councillor said the investment would help boost community relations and facilitate intermediate tournaments being staged in the area.
Council officer Aidan McPeake said he had spoken to members of the club and said Bushmills United had to make a formal application for the funding.
This would have to demonstrate the club is capable of sustaining playing at that level, he said.
“We have invested in other teams in the area and they have folded,” he said.
“Clarity on the club’s position would help them progress it.”
DUP councillor David McAllister described it as ‘a chicken and egg scenario’.
Chair and Independent councillor Padraig McShane said: “I don’t see a lot of money been spent on GAA and it’s the largest sport in the area.
“The new changing rooms in Bushmills cost this council £220,000.
“What we have is several football pitches in Moyle ready for intermediate football.
“I would encourage those teams to use that.”
Cllr McAllister said soccer could not rely on the funding received by GAA clubs.
“When the fence was being put around Mosside pitch we said the team had just come into existence,” he said.
“Bushmills have a football team which has been there for decades.”
Sinn Fein’s Cara McShane said: “There is no reason why this should be on this agenda and not taken to the Sports Committee.”
Cllr McAllister told council he would investigate the matter further.
REPORT: CHRIS KILPATRICK