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A new look for a new era of Nenagh Snooker

Saturday, 8th August, 2020 9:51am
A new look for a new era of Nenagh Snooker

Nenagh Snooker and Social Clubs rooms on Friar Street. PHOTO: ODHRAN DUCIE

A new look for a new era of Nenagh Snooker

Nenagh Snooker and Social Clubs rooms on Friar Street. PHOTO: ODHRAN DUCIE

 

 

When the doors open once more at Nenagh Snooker & Social Club later this month, members will be quietly surprised with what they see.

Nenagh Snooker & Social Club you say! Where is that? It’s the new name for New Institute Snooker Club and his premises on Friar Street which has undergone extensive renovations in recent months.

The Covid enforced shutdown has allowed the club to complete its renovations of the 134-year-old facility to make it more welcoming for members and prospective members.

“We looked at the place two years ago and we felt it needed updating and if we updated the place, we would improving the standing of snooker in the community itself,” said long serving committee member Seamie Harty.

“We thought we might look for five or ten thousand euro to update the place but one thing led to another such as insulating the walls, plastering the walls, updating the heating system and then improving the air conditioning.”

All this work came to €105,000 but will lead to better conditions for the snooker players with better heating and aeration in the snooker room leading to better play on the five tables, as snooker cloth can play slow or fast depending on the conditions, much like a pitch for an outdoor match.

North Tipperary LEADER funding will cover 75% of the development with the club having to come up with the remainder of the cost, up to €40,000 through a number of fundraisers, beginning with a club climb of the highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil in Co. Kerry this week.

While they aren’t collecting sponsorship for the walk, the are using the challenge to show people locally they are serious about fundraising and to that end in their first part of their fundraising target, they have opened an account in Nenagh Post Office where donations of any amount can be made towards the clubs target. Donations can be made to club chairman Brendan O'Donoghue and Tony Seymour with all donations guaranteed to be receipted.

 

Ready for Play

Come the end of August, the clubrooms will once again be ready for play, but with strict Covid-19 restrictions with only players on each of the five tables, and a Covid supervisor allowed on the premises at any one time. The club currently has over eighty members and with the refurbishment will make it attractive to new players joining.

“There is great potential in the club,” said club treasurer Tony Seymour with the club being three time All Ireland Senior club champions as well as 8 times Munster winners.

“The club is very well around the country respected because we have won so many things and we have a lot of good players and our club chairman Brendan O’Donoghue is the top amateur player in the country.

“Every year for the last five years we have had a Nenagh Open which attracts a lot of the top amateur players in Ireland, and that was before the renovations so we are probably leading the way in terms of a community snooker club because it really is a community organisation, not a commercial enterprise.”

The inclusive nature of the club is attractive to members of local organisations, serving people with disabilities, mental health issues and youth engagement programmes.

 

A new name

To that end, the club agreed on a name change from New Institute Snooker Club to Nenagh Snooker & Social club help being the club into the 21st century and make it more attractive to younger players, according to Seamie Harty.

“We thought the New in New Institute was a distraction because the place was established in 1887 so it’s not new, it’s an old club.

“I have been coming here since the 1950’s and the town is completely different. There were a lot of people living on Friar Street and up Castle Street and Barrack Street. They came down here at night and they were the older people and I was one of the younger people coming down. There was a great sense of community because of that.”

 

The new name, Nenagh Snooker & Social Club, will also help bring the club back to its roots by being a community centre for the locality where people, young and old, can meet up and play, not only snooker, but chess and draughts on the new boards added to the clubrooms.

“We are modernising the club and while the name is still synonymous, we needed to bring it up to date,” added Tony Seymour.

While a formal chess and/or draughts committee hasn’t been formed, or indeed any other group that would like to use the facility to play social games such, are invited to contact the club about getting involved. 

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