Dunshaughlin FC has received a grant of €5,000 from Diageo Ireland through its employee volunteer scheme, to enable drainage channels to be dug and to buy new grass cutting equipment to fix waterlogged pitches. In a recent season, the club went 16 weeks without a match due to waterlogged pitches. They believe this funding will result in the club being able to keep both pitches and training areas open to all 19 teams for most of the season.
The award has been made through the Diageo Ireland Gifted programme which is now in its third year. The Gifted programme, which runs on an annual basis, allows Diageo employees who volunteer with local community groups or charities to nominate these groups for a donation from Diageo Ireland. The applicants had to provide details of how a donation from Diageo Ireland would be put to good use by their respective group or charity. All of the nominations were then considered at length by Diageo Ireland, with Business in the Community assisting in this process. Finally, a total of 18 groups were chosen, with ten groups receiving €1,000 and a further eight receiving a grant of €5,000.
Dave Duggan of Dunshaughlin FC, who is quality operations manager at Diageo Ireland, said: "The committee at Dunshaughlin Football club is finding the current economic backdrop very challenging when trying to raise badly needed funds for the club. They were absolutely thrilled when they heard that we had won the Gifted award. The money will be used specifically to address the poor drainage at our grounds and to buy a suitable grass cutting machine. We hope that both of these initiatives will enable us to stop having to cancel training and matches for long periods during the season."