Fr Healy Park
The park was officially opened on Sunday 22nd May, 1955, in memory of Father John Healy, a former parish priest, who was a staunch friend of the club in its earlier and most trying days and was born in a house a hundred yards from the new park.
Since the foundation of the Loughgiel Shamrocks G.A.C their games had been played in different fields all over the parish, some of them far from satisfactory, and indeed not conducive to raising the standard of hurling either in the parish or County.
In 1952 the matter was taken up seriously and it was decided to make a determined effort to procure a permanent playing pitch.
A small farm was purchased from Miss Brigid McAleese and exchanged for two fields on the farm of Eddie McAleese, formerly the property of the well-known Walsh family.
These fields were not by any means a natural site and much labour and expense was needed to convert them into a pitch. A great deal of levelling was required, for which a bulldozer was kindly provided by Messrs. McGuckian, Cloughmills.
Apart from the levelling and the building of a pavilion and the entrance, the young men of the parish supplied the entire work voluntary. This included the removal of hedges and fences, digging holes for hundreds of fencing posts in both the outer and inner enclosures. A large amount of tractor work was done getting the field ready for sowing down. Men who deserve special credit for this magnificent achievement were Eddie Connolly whose practical advice and initiative were invaluable, and Brendan Carey who has put in years of hard work often at great inconvenience and personal sacrifice in the interests of the club.
They had the assistance of a hard-working committee at that time consisting of Charlie McCormick, J P Mulholland, Dan Carey, Dan McMullan, Pat McIntyre, Dan McNaughton, Patrick Carey, Frank Boyle, Harry Connolly, Hugh Mulholland, Dan Henry and Danny McShane.
Architect: Mr O N Wheeler M.R.I.A
Building Work: Mr W. Gillen
In 1977 it was agreed that the dressing rooms were inadequate and the committee decided to replace the present pavilion with more up-to-date dressing rooms and better facilities. The introduction of the Senior Reserve league meant that, with two teams playing on the Sunday, more changing space was required.
Plans were drawn up, submitted to the committee for approval, amended, and finally agreed. The building under the guidance of Denis McIntyre set about their work in earnest. Nearly all of the work was done on a voluntary basis and no praise is adequate for the hard work and personal sacrifice of those members of the sub-committee whose names have already been listed.
Together with Anthony Waide from the main committee and a small band of voluntary workers, a building was completed of which we can be justly proud. Materials and workmanship were first-class and great attention was paid to every detail. To the men who carried out and supervised the work, the club and its members are indebted.
The committee purchased half an acre of ground at the back of Sally and Lizzie McGowan. This area provides additional parking space within the two grounds. Two small pieces of ground were bought; one from Patsy McAleese behind the goals at the pavilion end and the other from George Stuart. The land purchased from George enabled the club to provide a wide parking area along the side of the field. A new lane had to be made by the club to replace the old lane and fences on both sides had to be erected.
It is hardly necessary to remark that all these changes have cost the club a great deal of money. The club’s executive and successive sub-committees had worked hard to raise the money for these improvements. Their tasks were made much easier by the generosity of the people of Loughgiel and further a field.
Sub Committee Responsible for Building the new changing rooms at Healy Park.
Denis McIntyre (Chairman), Brendan Carey (Vice-Chairman), Nicholas McGarry, Neil McMullan, Daniel Carey, Frank Boyle and Neil Patterson (Additional Members)