The way has been paved for Evergreen Football Club to reopen its grounds on the Kells Road in Kilkenny after legal matters were settled at Monday’s sitting of Kilkenny District Court.
A case had been brought against the officers of the club by Kilkenny County Council for non-compliance with its planning permission. Permission for a safer new entrance to the grounds had been granted by the council, but one of the conditions was that “it was not to be used for recreational purposes until a new entrance was constructed,” the council’s solicitor, John Harte, told the court.
The case had been adjourned on several occasions since June 2011 to allow time for the works to be carried out.The defendants’ solicitor, Emer Foley, said they had been dependant on a “third party carrying out works, which did not proceed. That is the reason they could not comply.”
Evergreen FC chairman Peter Henebry said afterwards that the club was delighted to be able to use its grounds again.
It’s ideal timing for the club, as Evergreen A and Evergreen B, both of which are in the premier division of the Kilkenny and District League, are set for a fixture this Sunday at 11am in the grounds.
It also means approximately 500 players from the under-7s up to the adult teams, plus the children’s soccer academy, can get back to playing and training on their home grounds.
“The Kilkenny and District League and our other fellow clubs in Kilkenny have all been extremely understanding of our position, because they have known that Evergreen had no home ground,” Mr Henebry said. In addition to playing away games, they have also been using the pitch at The Watershed.
He also had praise for the assistance given by Kilkenny County Council, who worked with the club’s management committee members Mick Hennessy and Niall O’Callaghan in particular.
“Even though the County Council said to us, ‘You can’t use that as a facility,’ I have to say that from that point onwards the officers of Kilkenny County Council and the executive have been unbelievably helpful,” he said.
The new entrance has cost upwards of €50,000 of the club’s own money and includes rumble strips, speed-limit signs, road resurfacing and landscaping.