Minister Hargey has a ball during visits to local clubs

COMMUNITIES Minister Deirdre Hargey enjoyed ‘a warm welcome’ at a range of local sporting clubs during a fact-finding day of visits across the Borough.

She was accompanied by South Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Declan Kearney.

“I was delighted to welcome my Ministerial colleague Deirdre Hargey, Minister for Communities, to South Antrim where she spent the day alongside me meeting and engaging directly with a broad cross section of sporting codes, including Gaelic games, cricket and soccer,” said the local rep.

“It was a highly productive day encompassing a series of visits to sports clubs from across the constituency, including local GACs, St Ergnat’s and Tír na nÓg, the county Antrim GAA Centre of Excellence at Dunsilly, Muckamore Cricket Club, and Crumlin United FC.

“During her ministerial tenure, Deirdre Hargey has demonstrated a strong commitment to the sports sector, including significant funding interventions which have helped to alleviate the hardship suffered as a result of the COVID-19 emergency.

“She shares my deep appreciation for the hugely important role all our sports clubs play, and the outstanding contribution they make to the general health and well-being of the local communities they serve.

“This strong community ethos was clearly in evidence at all the sporting facilities we visited, not least among the voluntary managements of these clubs, whose ambition for future growth and expanded programmes and facilities within their respective areas is truly inspiring.

“On behalf of myself, and Minister Deirdre Hargey, I want to extend sincere thanks for the warm welcome we received from all the clubs we met during our daylong programme of engagements.

“Each club we visited has made huge contributions to sport and community life in this constituency.

“They deserve sincere congratulations for all they have achieved.

“I can assure them, and all other sports clubs and codes locally, of my continued support during these challenging times, as they develop their ambitions for new, future development.”

Speaking afterwards, a spokesman for Muckamore Cricket Club said they were ‘delighted’ to welcome the Stormont delegation.

The pair were greeted by club chair Trevor Barnett and club president Ivor McMeekin.

“We were delighted when Minister Hargey asked to visit the club and she seemed to really enjoy her time here,” said Trevor.

“Both the Minister and Declan Kearney spent the best part of an hour chatting to club members and players and we told them of our plans for the club going forward and they have both offered support and advice.”

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