With the official opening of Kilcock GAA’s newly developed grounds and floodlights on Sunday next, May 6, the club has taken the opportunity to reflect on its 125 year histry.
From its foundation in 1887 until 1979, the club played its matches at the Banogue, the scene of many sporting fixtures.
In 1979 the club purchased six acres of land and set about building its own playing field and club rooms.
After four years of hard work the first official opening of its pitch and club rooms was held on May 29, 1983.
Following the opening a Senior Football Challenge game was staged between Kildare and Meath. Approximately 2000 people attended the game and many tributes were paid at the excellent organisation for the actual day’s proceedings.
The Kildare team on the day was captained by Davy Dalton and Kildare won by a narrow margin of 1-12 to 1-10. The game itself attracted a large following of young autograph hunters which added to the glamour of the occasion.
By 1994 Kilcock was bypassed and with the population ever increasing the need to provide bigger facilities was required and the plan to build a new clubhouse with more facilities became a new project.
In 1995 the main playing pitch was realigned and railed off. In 1997 the project went for planning permission and in 1998 a major fund raising campaign took place. This consisted with the sale of €100 tickets in a raffle for a house donated by Pender & Walsh Construction. The fundraiser was a major success and with a substantial grant from the Lottery, the club put the project to tender. The €1.5 million building project got underway in 2000.
On April 21, 2002 the Minister for Finance Mr. Charlie McCreevey T.D Officially opened the new Clubhouse which consisted of dressing rooms, hall and bar facilities. The Chairman of the Leinster Council Mr. Nicky Brannan paid tribute to the club for its fantastic achievements. MC on the day was well known sports commentator Jimmy McGee.
To compliment the club on its achievement Kilcock received the award for the Best Grounds in Kildare in 2002. Kildare County Board honoured the club by holding its annual convention in the new centre on the 28th November 2002.
In late 2010 a committee was formed to raise funds to further develop the grounds. This was to facilitate the increased demands for playing space to cater for Football, Hurling, Ladies Football & Camogie from under 6 to adult level.
The main pitch was drained, sanded and reseeded and floodlights installed to enable games and training to take place in its hours of darkness especially in spring and autumn.
The cost of the development was part funded by the Lottery and the Leinster Council. However, it was through the generosity of a large number of club life members and others who contributed €200 each that brought its project to finalisation.
A plaque will be unveiled by the President of the G.A.A Liam O Neill, on Sunday and will mark this great occasion as Kilcock G.A.A celebrates its 125th Birthday.
The weekend will kick off with a fancy dress disco for the youth of Kilcock. On Saturday a fun day of activities has been organised which will see the girls and boys from Bord Na nÓg, Hurling, Ladies Football and Camogie. Even parents will be putting on their football boots, grabbing a hurl or football and taking to the field to play against the sons and daughters. This will be followed with a barbeque. On Sunday adults will take to the pitch with the senior footballers and hurlers playing against local teams.