Application submitted for new club in east Meath

Eastern Gaels have submitted an application to Meath Co Board to become the newest affiliate member of the GAA/LGFA in the county.

East Meath covers a vast area including Laytown, Bettystown, Donacarney, Mornington and many of the housing developments on the outskirts of Drogheda, and now has a population of 28,000.

This area has seen a massive increase in population in recent years and this trend is set to continue in the coming years.

Eastern Gaels are acutely aware that the area urgently requires additional GAA capacity and increased facilities to cater for and promote our games and culture so that we can successfully compete with other organisations and, crucially, win the hearts and minds of our young people.

“With up to 600 children entering the school system in east Meath every year and over 350 young adults exiting at the other end there is a clear capacity issue in providing GAA playing opportunities for young people in the area and more and more of them are being lost to Gaelic games and the GAA as a result," said Eastern Gaels spokesperson Pearse Gilroy said.

"This is about opportunity. We need to give young people the opportunity to play sports, to play our National games.

"As a lifelong member of the GAA I know the importance of the Association – and of belonging to the Association We cannot allow a situation that sees young men and women not having the opportunity to participate in our games.

"We believe that Eastern Gaels can help solve the capacity issue. Even if we have just 100 members in a year or two it is still 100 members who are back playing our games and actively participating in our Association and is a win for everyone.”

Eastern Gaels will be member-driven and in the immediate term will focus on providing an opportunity for increased participation in Gaelic activities and acquiring facilities to match our long-term vision and ambition.

The club will encourage respect and fairness on and off the field, promote wellbeing, Irish language and culture and we will engage with all members of our community.

"Our application is in the hands of the Meath Co Board and we will happily do whatever is required of us to bring about the birth of Eastern Gaels," said Gilroy.

"We will work with anyone and everyone in the interest of growing participation in Gaelic games in the area, involvement in GAA based activities and improving facilities.

"We are confident that ratification of Eastern Gaels as the county’s latest club will prove to be a very positive and beneficial development for everyone involved in Meath GAA.”

There are currently 59 GAA clubs in Co Meath and presently St Colmcille's is the local Meath GAA club serving the communities in Laytown, Bettystown, Donacarney and Mornington.

It is expected that Meath GAA will establish a sub-committee to consider the application to form the new club.