Finn Harps FC are keeping their hopes up that their new Stranorlar stadium will be given the go ahead soon, despite disappointing funding news earlier this month.
The €6.7million Finn Harps Stadium project was omitted from allocations under the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’ Large Scale Infrastructure Fund, but recent shows of support have brought new hope to the campaign.
Donegal County Council today pledged to continue with its support and assistance to Finn Harps FC as they seek funding, following motions raised by Cllr Martin Harley, Cllr John O’Donnell and Cllr Gary Doherty.
A statement from Harps said they have been encouraged by the many commitments made in recent days and weeks.
If political representatives follow through on their commitments, the Club said it could start the first phase of construction early this year.
A spokesperson said: “In recent days we have received letters from both the FAI and Donegal County Council confirming their support and we are very encouraged by the motions passed at the Council’s January meeting stating their intention to assist in the delivery and completion of the Stadium project.
“We have also received a further communication from the Dept of Sport who stated that our application, along with cost benefit material has been sent to their Strategic Research and Analysis Division for further assessment, however they confirmed that to date they had not recommended Finn Harps for a grant.
“It is also encouraging that candidates and political parties standing in the Donegal Constituency for the General Election have written to the Club outlining their stated intention of ensuring that funding is allocated following the formation of the next Government. There is no doubt that if the political will is there and these commitments are followed through it would be possible to recommence work in late Spring or early Summer and have Harps playing in the new Stadium during the 2023 season.”
The Club issued a thank you to the football family throughout the country for their letters, emails and text messages backing the stadium project.
“The complex when completed including the additional pitches, will be for the people of Donegal and especially our youth who deserve playing facilities comparable to anywhere else in the Country. The Club is humbled by the swell of support within the County, fans and the wider community are angered by the possibility of Donegal being overlooked again when national funds are being distributed.”
The statement concluded on a positive note:
“The Club is hopeful that with cooperation and goodwill we can get this Stadium built. If the adjoining pitches are developed in tandem with construction work we would have a superb facility for the young people of Donegal which would allow all our men’s, ladies and underage teams to compete at the highest level in their respective national leagues.”