Formerly a productive farm that provided a range of fruit and vegetables for students and staff at St. Colman’s College, Fermoy, this substantial green space on the southern approach to the town is now an extensively used exercise and sporting amenity.

Diocesan property and held in trust by Bishop William Crean, this sprawling seven hectare site has undergone significant development in recent times and now boasts a 1.25km walking track, new dressing rooms, flood-lit tennis courts, 3 pitches and a training area.

The aforementioned Bishop of Cloyne was in attendance last Tuesday to formally open and bless the facility. Speaking following Confirmation in nearby St. Patrick’s Church, Bishop Crean, said he was delighted to be associated with the project.

“Such a facility is vital for the school and the fact that there’s also public access makes it an amenity that all the community can benefit from”, he said.

This ‘community’ theme was also remarked upon by principal, Veronica O’Donoghue, when she addressed a packed assembly hall prior to the tape cutting ceremony.

“St. Colman’s College sees itself as an intrinsic part of the social and sporting community of Fermoy and this new look campus offers a range of recreational options for students and the public alike”, she said.

Mrs. O’Donoghue had an extensive acknowledgements list – most notably college benefactor, Dr. Tomas Cavanagh, who is credited with galvanising the various stakeholders into action. She also made clear that the school has every intention of pressing ahead with plans to upgrade the existing sports hall.

Pupils at last Tuesday’s opening were represented by senior prefect, Cian Lau. In an impressive address, Cian spoke about the value of sport, the importance of team work and the long term benefits of the new campus. MC for the day was Mr. Patrick Donnelly.

Following formalities, guests were treated to refreshments in the college canteen.