Forty years ago on Sunday 11th September 1983, Joe McDermott Park was officially opened. For most of the previous eighty years since the foundation of the club in 1903 we had to rely on the goodwill of local farmers to provide us with basic playing facilities. This all changed in 1977 when the committee took a brave decision and reached an agreement with local landowner and club stalwart Percy McGuinness to purchase a permanent home for our club.
Thanks to the many hours of voluntary work and the generous financial contributions of both our club members and the wider community, the playing field was developed, and the original dressing rooms were built over the following years. We were also very grateful to local entrepreneur, the late Raymond Coyle who invited our club to be one of the beneficiaries of the Bellewstown Estate Lottery in 1982. The club realised £15,000 ( a huge sum of money back then ) from this raffle of a farm of land, which helped in no small way to get the project finished.
Meath County Board Chairman Brian Smith presided over the official opening and the Blessing was performed by Fr. Gerard O’Reilly PP Curraha. The sizeable gathering was then treated to a Senior Football Challenge featuring Meath and reigning All Ireland champions at the time, Offaly.
There were a few changes to the lineouts on both teams. Our own John Duffy acquitted himself well at left half forward as Meath enjoyed a comfortable win over a depleted Offaly side.Pictured: Martin Colfer, Billy Boland, Joe McDermott, John Keogh, Brian Smyth – Meath County Chairman, Christy Lynch, Michael O’Hehir– RTE, Packey Mulvaney-Chairman, Liam Caffrey, Kevin O’Connor, Brendan O’Connor-Secretary and Tony Battersby