20 Years On: Castleisland Members’ Golf Club’s Dual Membership Deal

The gathering at the first Castleisland Golf Club meeting at the River Island Hotel 20 years ago today. Front from left: Séamus O’Neill, Norma Browne, Kathleen Brosnan, Sheila Hannon, Breda Geaney, Catherine Horan, Millie Browne and Paul Geaney. Middle row from left: Joe Geaney, Martin O’Donoghue, Thomas Brennan, Brendan Brosnan, Mike Nash, Larry Hickey, Billy Browne and Tomo Burke. back from left: Tim Galwey, Sgt. Michael Coote, Patrick McElligott, Danno Dennehy, Seán Brandon and Andrew Kelliher. ©Photograph: John Reidy 1-4-1999
Castleisland Members’ Golf Club Manager, Mairead Guirey pictured with the array of hampers awaiting the winners of the club’s Easter competition to be played on Sunday, April 14th with a shotgun start from 10am. ©Photograph: John Reidy
Posters which flag the goings on at Castleisland Members’ Golf Club today and 20 years on from that first meeting on this day in 1999. For more information on the club simply Click on the Image.

Easter Hamper competitions and an attractive ‘dual membership’ offer are the main news items around the Tulligubeen course and clubhouse at present.

The dual membership offer means that members of other golf clubs can join the Castleisland club for €250.

The Easter Hamper competition has attracted an impressive list of sponsors and an array of top class hampers await the winners.

Twenty Years Ago Today

Twenty years ago, on this very evening, a group of enterprising locals met at the River Island Hotel with the formation of a club and the building of a course on top of their agenda.

I covered the meeting and the following is a report on what transpired on that historic occasion.

Positive Response to Golf Course Proposals

One of the most positive meetings in the history of development in Castleisland took place at the River Island Hotel on Thursday night.

Facilitated by local development association members, Sheila Hannon, Tomo Burke and Andrew Kelliher, the meeting was convened to tease out the level of interest or otherwise in the proposal to locate a golf course in the vicinity of the town – and over 100 people from a wide geographical and interest base showed up.

Depth of Commitment

The opening scenes of the evening were mainly concerned with gauging the depth of commitment to the proposals and the financial implications involved in the construction of a nine or 18 hole course.

It was disclosed also that five further parcels of land had been offered to the association in the course of the previous week. Andrew Kelliher outlined the position to date and said that at least one of the sites surveyed had been deemed suitable on all fronts for the purpose.

Brisk and Business-Like

The meeting was conducted in a brisk and business-like manner and Tomo Burke told the gathering that none of the facilitators were golfers and he appealed to those present to ‘mark our cards.’

A brief debate on the merits of a half or full 18 hole course took place before the experienced golfers swung into action and the suggestions came.

18 Hole Championship Course

The organisers then heard that a club needed the commitment of at least 200 members and a course which was playable the whole year round if the project was to be viable.

Castleisland based Garda Sergeant Mick Coote then urged the meeting to drop the nine-hole notion and strive for an 18 hole championship course.

Nine Hole A Non Runner

Sgt. Coote, who is the current All-Ireland Garda National Strokeplay Champion said that people would be very slow in investing money in the nine-hole option. After a discussion on various funding methods Sheila Hannon asked for a show of hands in support of the full course and there wasn’t a dissenter in the house. It was time to get down to the serious business at hand and though the meeting was convened on fool’s day nobody there made light of the issue.

19 Hole Course

Sheila Hannon inadvertently introduced a little levity to the situation when she welcomed the decision to go with ‘the 19 hole course’ – much to the appreciation of the knowing audience.

An appeal was then made to get on with the business of electing a steering committee.

After some throat clearing and the usual local issue nervousness Thomas Brennan was the first to volunteer his services.

21 Member Committee

There was no stemming the enthusiasm afterwards and a 21 member committee was formed. Even since the meeting several more locals have pledged their support to the cause. The new committee held its first meeting on Tuesday night.

The development association members are well pleased at the response to their initiative and they believe that another visitor attraction and sports facility can be added to the town already impressive list.

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