Donegal GAA fans will get their first chance to see Jim McGuinness’ new-look side at Ballyshannon.
Donegal take on Roscommon in a challenge match at Fr Tierney Park on Sunday December 17th at 1.30 p.m.
The teams first outing under McGuinness’ new reign will also see the first game played on the new surface at the home of Aodh Ruadh CLG, Béal Átha Seanaigh.
A spokesperson for Aodh Ruadh said they are proud to see the return of inter-county football to Father Tierney Park.
The last time Ballyshannon played host to the senior county side was on 1st March 2020 when Declan Bonner’s men saw off Monaghan in the Division 1 of the National Football League on a scoreline of 2-12 to 0-8. Indeed, the Erneside ground has generally proved a happy hunting ground for Donegal down the years.
There’s been quite a bit of water under the Aodh Ruadh bridge since that win over the Farney men, and the Park has seen major redevelopment with €750,000 invested in the pitch and spectator facilities.
The playing surface has been completely refurbished with the clay pitch being replaced with a Prunty pitch over the course of two years of dedicated and patient work. At 145 metres by 87 metres it is now one of the biggest grounds in the county.
The Hospital side of the grounds is fully terraced, while the northern end of the pitch is now also substantially terraced. Further plans are in place for upgrading of spectator facilities, primarily focused on stand seating at the southern side of the pitch.
The original Father Tierney Park was opened on 9 May 1954. The new park took its name from a parish priest who had served in Saint Joseph’s in the town. Father Tierney had been a great supporter of Gaelic Games and Irish culture in the locality. He later went on the missions to war-torn China, where he lost his life in 1931.
At the official opening, Canon McQuaid of Bundoran, assisted by Father McElroy of Saint Joseph’s Church blessed the new football field, which was formally opened by President of the Ulster Council, Armagh man, Alf Murray. The official opening was followed by a challenge match between Donegal and Armagh with Donegal defeating the 1953 All-Ireland finalists on a scoreline of 1-6 to 0-5.
Coincidentally, another Armagh man, Jarlath Burns, on becoming Uachtarán CLG, will be on hand for the official opening of the ground in 2024, the 70th anniversary of the Park’s first opening.
The under 20 footballers were the last Roscommon side to visit Father Tierney Park when they took on Donegal in the Leo Murphy Cup.
It is great to welcome the Rossies back to the Rock with a share of the proceeds from the game going to North West Hospice, an organisation which has given great service to people from across both counties.
Tickets are available for the game via the official Donegal GAA website. Adult tickets cost €10, OAP’s and students (over 16) €5, while children (under 16) are free. Just follow the link: https://embed.futureticketing.ie/c/donegal-gaa/
A great opportunity to support Jim and the boys, before they enter competitive competition for 2024, while having a opportunity to visit the new Fr Tierney Park and most importantly, you’ll be supporting a charity that’s close to all our hearts, the North West Hospice.