A former handball court is getting a makeover

Thuar Mhic Éadaigh Handball Club hopes the old village lane can regain its former glory

By Stuart Tynan

There are hopes that an old lane in a West Mayo village will be restored to its former glory as an outdoor pitch by the local handball club.

Founded in 2018, Tuar Mhic Éadaigh Handball is one of many new social groups that have settled into the community following the opening of its stunning GAA sports center in the village.

The majority of club members are newcomers and play at a recreational level, forging great friendships with other clubs in Mayo and around the country.

Michael Lang, secretary of the Tuar Mhic Éadaigh Handball Club, told the Connaught Telegraph: “We had two great years in 2018 and 2019, but last year it all came to a halt. A few of us played outside at a place called Cully on the Sligo/Mayo border. It’s the way the game has always been played.

“With Covid-19, it’s the only realistic thing we have to play for in the coming months until things get back to normal.

“The motivation for the new ball field in the short term is to allow us to resume our activities in a safe outdoor environment. In the longer term, it will give us a place where we can meet and play on a beautiful summer evening. , as was once a rural tradition in all the villages of Mayo.

There are only two outdoor courts in Mayo currently in use: in Kiltimagh and a further court in Swinford. Unfortunately, many old lanes across the county have fallen into disrepair over the years.

“These courts were once part of every village in the west of Ireland, but they have disappeared,” Michael said.

“We hope this new ball court will benefit all local handball clubs and be used for other sports and activities.

“The side walls of the new ball court will be clad in local stone, a nod to the ancient stone lanes that once stood in the parish.”

Once planning permission has been granted, it is hoped that the new ground will be ready to play this summer.