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DCU and Na Fianna join forces to launch unique community partnership
DCU and Na Fianna join forces to launch unique community partnership

DCU and Na Fianna join forces to launch unique community partnership

Seven-year agreement includes access to facilities, internships, promotion of the Irish language, cultural activities, volunteering and coaching initiatives

Dublin City University and Glasnevin-based GAA club Na Fianna have unveiled a new community partnership, believed to be the first of its kind in Ireland.

A seven-year agreement has been struck between DCU and Na Fianna, providing the Mobhi Road based outfit with access to playing pitches and training facilities in DCU's Glasnevin and St Patrick's campuses.

As part of the agreement, DCU will be publicly recognised as the premium community partner of CLG Na Fianna, with the university logo in a prominent position on the back of all jerseys worn by the club’s teams, and will also play a central role in all Na Fianna’s educational activity.

Details of the agreement will be publicly announced tonight at an event attended by the President of DCU Professor Brian MacCraith, the Chairman of CLG Na Fianna Cormac Ó Donnchú and invited guests.

CLG Na Fianna, which is located in the Drumcondra/Glasnevin area of North Dublin, has more than 3,000 members and 174 teams participating in camogie, gaelic football, handball, hurling, ladies football and rounders as well as a host of other social and cultural activities.

The club was established in 1955 and caters for all teams at their single-pitch ground at Mobhi Road.

The partnership will provide an immediate boost with access to playing and training facilities at DCU’s Sports Campus in nearby St Clare’s and also on a new 3G pitch on DCU’s St Patrick’s Campus in Drumcondra, which will be completed in Q2, 2020.

The move will also provide a number of positive impacts for DCU as the agreement will lead to a range of opportunities for the university’s students to engage with Na Fianna through volunteering and coaching activities, and through paid internships.

The partnership also includes a commitment to collaborate on the promotion and development of the Irish language and cultural activities in the area.

CLG Na Fianna is widely regarded for their commitment to promoting the Irish language and culture and were commended for this in 2018 and 2017 with a silver and bronze medal, respectively, from the Joe McDonagh Foundation, a support service provided by Glór na nGael and the Gaelic Athletic Association to GAA clubs wishing to further the Irish language in their community.

The strategic collaboration with DCU will enable strong links to flourish with the university and, in particular, with Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge, the DCU School that focuses on many aspects of the Irish language, and the largest such department on the island of Ireland.

The School is renowned for its scholarship and programmes in the Irish language, its research in the teaching and learning of Irish, and its various initiatives employing digital technology to promote and enrich Irish language and culture.

Plans are also in place to further promote and develop DCU’s arts and cultural initiative, ANAM, a celebration of arts, culture and creativity in a strategic effort to develop a North Dublin Cultural Quarter. For example, ANAM 2020 will involve DCU working closely with Na Fianna on the production and hosting of a series of events at the club.

Welcoming the new agreement, DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith said:

“This is a historic development, being the first ever strategic partnership between a university and a GAA Club.

This new community partnership underlines DCU’s strong commitment to engagement with our community in areas of importance to the university, such as sport, arts and culture, agus an Ghaeilge.

This is very much a mutually beneficial agreement. DCU is delighted to share its facilities and expertise with Na Fianna, while the club is offering our students valuable volunteering, internship and cultural opportunities.”

Cormac Ó Donnchú Chairman CLG Na Fianna commented:

“CLG Na Fianna is delighted to announce this Community Partnership with DCU. While we're very grateful for their support, we're particularly pleased that an innovative and world renowned institution like DCU recognises and values what goes on here in Na Fianna every day and every week from a community, cultural and Gaelic Games point of view. All in Na Fianna appreciate the hard work of DCU President Prof Brian MacCraith and his team in DCU for getting this agreement over the line.

We are very excited about this new Community Partnership and we look forward to Na Fianna and DCU working together over the next 7 years on a number of novel initiatives in the fields of cultural, community and sporting activities.”