Tipperary Star

Double Celebration in Dualla – Tipperary Star Published on Thursday 23 July 2009 

In 2002 Dualla Community Council held a meeting to explore the possibility of purchasing a 6 acre field adjacent to the village which was coming on the market. The field was purchased at auction, the Dualla Field Association was formed, four trustees were appointed and a bank loan taken out.

The new association set about raising money to begin payments on the loan and the support and generosity of the local community was outstanding. Fundraising events were organised including dog nights in Thurles Greyhound Stadium, auctions and draws. An amenity grant was sought and obtained from South Tipperary County Council. In 2006, Duall Community Council merged with Dualla Field Association to become Dualla Community Association. By this time the field was in great demand and it was decided to build dressing rooms. Plans were drawn up, put out to tender and Danny O’Keeffe Construction was hired to carry out to build he dressing rooms.

The association applied to South Tipperary County Council for a second amenity grant and also applied to the National Lottery for funding. Both applications were successful.

In April of this year with the building at a advanced stage, thoughts turned to planning a grand opening. request was made to Denis Leamy and his family to name the dressing rooms in his honour which he graciously accepted. Liam O’Duibhir, Principal of Dualla National School, had planned to retire at the end of school term after 33 years service and he was asked to combine his retirement with the official opening of the field and dressing rooms. Liam was delighted to lend his support to the grand opening fund raising event.

The association sought support from the comunity to help organise the event, again the response was excellent. Meetings were held for three months leading up to the big day (Saturday July 11th 2009) and every effort was made to ensure that the event which included a barbeque would be an occasion for Dualla to be proud of. On the night a presentation was made to Liam O’Duibhir by Denis Leamy. Fr. Egan complimented him for his outstanding work in the children of Dualla over such a long period, and spoke of the importance of people working together for the good of the community. Aileen Colton, (teacher 1973-1999) and Mary McElligott, (current teacher) praised Liam for his professionalism and the wonderful spirit of learning he created in the school during he years they had worked with him.

In his response Liam welcomed all who gathered on such a wet evening. ” This new development is a great credit to the committee tasked to bring the dream of a playing field and dressing rooms to reality, and would prove to be a great addition to local facilities.

It is a the fitting tribute to Denis Leamy, in naming the new centre after a man who has brought pride, delight and inspiration to the whole parish through his achievements on the rugby field. l’m happy to claim him among the many past-pupils of Dualla National School whom l am proud to have taught. However I must admit that my contribution to his rugby career mirrors exactly my knowledge of that game – which is nothing – but even as a young boy at school his athletic ability and potential was clear and manifest through the different games that he played and excelled at. l wish him continued success in the years in ahead and am certain that his visits to his old school in the future will always be as rapturously received as they have been to date. He is an excellent role model for our young people and has been very generous with his time in coming to show us the many trophies and in answering the even more numerous questions which have come his way on those occasions.

“l first came to Dualla in February l 976 and have never regretted doing so. Over the last 33 years my life has centred on that small school to which the parents have daily sent their children. In doing so, they placed great trust in my colleagues and myself to instruct and care for their children. l want to thank them sincerely for that honour. Throughout those years we have worked together, consulted, co operated together and supported each other. l am grateful for the genuine appreciation which was always apparent in the parents’ relationship with the school”.

“Exactly 250 children passed through the school during my years there. Many of the present enrolment are the children of my first pupils. These boys and girls alwayskept the teacher on his toes. The years have passed quickly in their exuberant and challenging company. l have always appreciated and recognised my good fortune inhaving such a well-balanced and motivated student body in front of me. Long may the children of Dualla continue to learn and play in their own local school”.

He expressed his thanks to all involved with the school and especially his wife Teresa, son and daughter, Philip and Diana and said l am delighted that they, and my brothers and sisters, are here this evening to enjoy this celebration.”

Fr. Peter Brennan, blessed the “Denis Leamy Centre” and Denis cut the ribbon to mark the official opening. Ned Tierney spoke of Denis’s outstanding achievements on the rugby field and his importance as a roll model to young people. Denis spoke of the importance of sport in the development of young people, thanked the community for the honour bestowed on him and said he was very proud of his native place. Cllr. Liam Ahern, Chairman S.T.C.C. congratulated the people of Dualla and stated that the celtic tiger years helped communities like Dualla to put resources in place that would benefit countless people in years ahead. Finola Mc Manamy, from the National Lottery, said that she was impressed with the quality of the centre and could see that lottery funds were used well. Flowers were presented to Liam O’Duibhir’s wife Theresa, and to Denis Leamy’s girlfriend Antoinette Quinlan.

Entertainment was provided by double World Irish Dancing Champion Shauna Ryan, Billy O’Dwyer, (Bob) Pauline Bargary, Midlife Crisis, Modern Souls, John Purcell, ran the barbeque providing his own tasty organic beef burgers (free of charge).

The torrential rain which fell all day, cleared just in time to begin proceedings, the 4000 square ft of marquee ensured that people stayed dry, although underfoot conditions were testing.

Dualla Community Association wishes to thank everyone who contributed in so many ways to make the event such a splendid occasion.


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