Kerry GAA icons including current manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice were on hand in London last weekend to collect a gigantic donation worth more than €300,000 towards the county’s new training centre.
It’s understood that the funding relates to a gala fundraising banquet held in the English capital in June with proceeds going towards the €5.8m training centre at Currans near Kerry airport.
Sources revealed that a room full of 1,200 tables were snapped up by those with Kingdom leanings, a number of which came from the building trade in London.
Kerry hope to complete their 48-acre centre of excellence by the end of next year, and the latest tranche of cash comes in their final leg of fundraising.
All-Ireland final boss Fitzmaurice, captain Kieran Donaghy, Paul Galvin and All-Ireland winning minor boss Jack O’Connor lent their support by attending last weekend’s Kerry Association in London annual dinner dance in Cricklewood, where a cheque for £243,000 (€330,000) was handed over. The Currans development will comprise a clubhouse and six training pitches, one of which will be all-weather, along with a running track around the perimeter of the facility.
A fundraising drive on behalf of Kerry, in tandem with the London event last June, was staged in America with more than €1m raised through various events and auctions there.
Croke Park, the Munster Council and sponsors Kerry Group have already each donated €1m towards the project. Another €1m was raised between Friends of Kerry and lottery funding.
Kerry great Pat Spillane has previously stated that the county erred by not investing earlier in such training facilities.
“Kerry footballers are skilled, we have a huge tradition, but we took our eye off the ball for several years,” said Spillane.
“We assumed there was a conveyor belt of talent coming through but the game has moved on.
“It’s all about coaching and development now.
“The new facility will lay the foundation for the future.”
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