Eglinton Cricket Club under pressure from Derry City Council

Eglinton Cricket Club may have to close as Derry City Council have built a play park next to the grounds and haven’t built a fence to prevent injury. The estimate for the fence is around £3,500.

Two years ago Derry City Council agreed to give a plot of land worth a quarter of a million pounds to a Creggan GAA club. The Council also has a bill outstanding for £8,000 for flights taken in 2006 to Norway, and spent “hundreds of thousands” in their failed attempt to have the name of the city changed from Londonderry.

  • darth rumsfeld

    no need to worry
    I’ve watched Eglinton CC a couple of times this year and they’ve yet to hit the boundary :0)

  • Eireannach Saolta

    Surely they can give the cricket club 3 1/2 g. It seems a bit unfair. Michael Shilliday the argument about the name change is a disingenous one. Surely these hundreds of thousands could have been saved if unionist politicians had just agreed that 75+% of the city’s population could have their opinion regarding the name recognised. Its just another example of unionist waste through intransigence

  • joeCanuck

    It would be a shame if a long established sporting club had to shut down for want of such a piddling sum. Disgraceful.

  • Brian Walker

    As a native of the city from ages ago and with keen cricketer relatives, I would regard the failure to keep Eglinton cricket club open as potentially a serious blow to community relations in the north west.

    But to be practical before setting off in campaign mode, might not the solution be for club members local supporters and friends to have a whip round for part of the cost and the Council to find the rest? Hardly rocket science, but this is something exiles like me need to know before we join in cries of foul. If members are indulging in a bit of crying wolf, good luck to them and I hope the problem is solved soon. Do let us know what happens, please.

    Comparisons with GAA funding are for others to make who know the scene better. All I know is that NI must renounce the old zero sum game, of one side’s gain, the other side’s loss, and vice versa. We have to have win:win, there’s no other choice.

    Cricket, although quintessentially English and therefore once regarded as “foreign” has long since pluralised, witness the explosion of Indian 20:20 and the celebrations led by Bertie Ahern over the Irish victory of Pakistan in the last World Cup.

    Sure, it’s a mainly Protestant game in NI, though like rugby in the south, no longer identified as the sport of the tiny Protestant minority. In the north west, it was just enough of a cross community game pre-Troubles for the new era to build on now. Witness for example, those locally eminent cricket fans John Hume, a former player who would have liked to keep it up, and Eamonn McCann.

    Don’t forget too the cross border reach of the North West Cricket Union to St Johnston, a Co Donegal village of historic cricketing achievement whose cricket survives the shrinking of the Protestant population.

    Sadly the old City of Derry cricket club located on the west bank, closed in 1977 along with the shift away of the Protestant population. But Brigade,Glendermott and Eglinton, the latter now under threat, still survive in the immediate Derry area, as far as I know.

    With much soul-searching going on over the decline of the unionist population, nothing should be done that shakes public confidence.

    This is one fence that should be erected in the interest of community relations – and incidentally to help preserve the character and amenity of Eglinton, a frequent winner of the title, “Ulster’s best kept village.”

  • Basil Brush

    I cant believe Hume and McCann are cricket fans.However as a cricket fan myself it would be very sad if such an old club had to fold over the building of a fence.Also Brian the Cricket World Cup last year clearly showed that as you said cricket is a cross community game with support for the Irish teams success coming from across society.I even hear that the deputy First Minister is a big fan of the game himself.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Brian, it’s hardly a zero sum game. The Council gifts the GAA £250,000 worth of land, and then refuses to put up a fence next to a cricket ground, only needed because they put a play park next to it.

  • Rory

    It’s simply not cricket. The council must cease sitting on the fence on this issue. If they placed
    a play park within striking distance of an existing cricket pitch it is surely the council who is responsible for any perceived danger to the children, which despite Darth Rumsfoeld’s assurances, must raise concern.


  • darth rumsfeld

    Hume was apparently a left arm slow bowler for City of Derry seconds in the early 50s. Martin McGuiness claimed to be a fan at a reception for the irish world cup squad last year, but noone I know ever recalls him at a game.
    Cricket in the north west has always had a cross community basis, though becuase it was played more at state schools there was a greater protestant input

  • Are there no grants from DCAL (whose Minister is from … ) for the ‘improvement’ of sports grounds?

  • lamh dearg

    well according to Radio Foyle a large majority of Eglintonians (?) are in favour of a new park, there is the usual time pressures to secure grant aid to develop the park and they have been trying to secure agreement.

    As a Derry rate payer, I fail to see why I should pay for a fence around a cricket pitch, or a GAA pitch, or a golf club, or any private club.

    As I understand it the danger is that the cricket club may have trouble insuring itself in the absence of a fence, so build a fence.

    Apparently there are private homes around the cricket pitch and the club paid to put up a fence to protect these houses and their residents. So do it again to protect their oen insurability.

  • CS Parnell

    There seems scant evidence that this is some sort of sectarian plot to me. More likely the CC trying to scam the money – after all they have a fence round the rest of the ground.

    But, as always in the North, perception is all, so the council should probably get it sorted.

    I used to play cricket in West Belfast and get stick for it. Foreign games and all that.

  • iluvni

    Maybe the GAA club could come up with the cash as a gesture, given they were quids in with the council’s freebie to them

  • Parson

    What steaming hypocrisy from Derry City Council; the gift of a prime site to Creggan GAA and then the possibility of a cricket club shitting down because they refuse to erect a fence. I may well be wrong, but I bet the fence would be worth a lot less than the land…

    Maybe if they hadn’t spent vast sums of money in thier idiotic, bigoted and fruitless attempt to change the city’s name, they may have been able to afford the fence.

  • Parson

    I apologise. That should say ”shutting down” above, not what it actually says…

  • perry

    One of the few things I think I remember about the little bit of law I learnt at university was Lord Denning’s judgement that a family who’s windows are broken by cricket balls from a nearby club have no complaint if they have come to the nuisance – if they’ve built their house near a well established club.

    Any lawyers know whether that ruling applies here. If it does aren’t the council liable anyway? Or did I just not understand it?

  • CS Parnell

    thier idiotic, bigoted and fruitless attempt to change the city’s name

    OK, I’m feeding the troll now. But why is one change of the name – from Doire to Londonderry acceptible while another isn’t?

  • ” I’m feeding the troll now. But “

    Someone saying something you don’t like is not enough to constitute trolling. Even ignoring the difference between spending exactly nothing on doing nothing, or spending vast sums actively seeking to make a controversial change, there’s the tiny fact that Parson never actually said the initial “change” was ok. Perhaps he thinks it was, but even if this is true it’s hardly comparing like with like and certainly not justification for the council’s priorities.

  • The Raven

    Uh-oh…the name change thing is back. Strangely though, outside of Councillors and people OUTSIDE Derry, no-one gives a shit.

    There’d be a bigger ruckus if they decided to change the County name from Londonderry to its administrative predecessor…

    Anyway. Build the damn fence. Get on with some proper work.

  • Reader

    Eirannach Saolta: Surely these hundreds of thousands could have been saved if unionist politicians had just agreed that 75+% of the city’s population could have their opinion regarding the name recognised.
    No. It was a legal case. The question was not ‘whether to’, but ‘how to’. The council paid out a fortune on the back of seemingly very dodgy legal advice about how to change the name of the city.
    I never did find out though – did the lawyer who gave the initial advice benefit from the case?

  • El Paso

    The County is called Londonderry? Somebody should tell the senior hurlers.

  • The Raven

    Perhaps indeed they should! Though coming from my neck of the wood, I quite like the sound of County Londonderry’s antecedent!

  • McGrath

    Any lawyers know whether that ruling applies here. If it does aren’t the council liable anyway? Or did I just not understand it?

    Posted by perry on Jul 10, 2008 @ 04:53 PM

    Liability has nothing to do with who is more able to settle out of court.

    The cricket club will be at all times liable regardless of who or what got hit with a ball leaving their premises. However a plaintiff would have a more fruitful case if they were struck while on the council property as the prospect of including the council as a codefendant in any action makes the effect mentioned in the first sentence very important.

    As such it would be in the councils best interest to avoid such an action by erecting the fence. In fact not erecting the fence could be considered an aggravating factor in any suit as a hazard is known to exist.

  • Capt Mannering

    Derry City Council Offical interviewed on Radio Foyle had no regard for The Councils Duty of Care to Young People. When asked who would be responsible if a child got hit on the head he said The Courts would decide.

    Council need to train their staff about their responsibilities. Council also need to ask Who put up the other fences.

    Get the Fence up Council and talk sense to your staff.

  • darth rumsfeld

    I recently saw Ireland play Bangladesh at Eglinton n our first 20/20 international, and was pleased to see “Paddy” Botha hit a six over the road and onto the roof of a neighbouring house. The club could have built a fence 50 feet high and he would have cleared it.

    Cricket enthusiast and DFM Marty was noticable by his absence for the first visit of his national team to his locality for many years. Perhaps he was in Iraq…in fact I don’t know if the council did anything to promote or recognise this historic event. Perhaps if they hadn’t spent barrow loads of their ratepayers’ money on futile attempts to conceal information about the Eglinton Airport scandal they might have been better able to ?…