St Peregrine's cast their net
THE St Peregrine's Roadshow is going on tour. It's a novel idea from the ever-progressive West Dublin club.
"We are going to bring our nursery to a few different areas around the locality in the hope of attracting more players," explains chairman, Paul Harte.
"It's just something we are going to try. We'll see how it goes. And after hosting it in the different areas, we'll be back based in the club again, with, hopefully, bigger numbers.
"For years, people have said that your juvenile section is your future in a club, but now it's the nursery that is the future."
The Pers would love to discover a few more gems like Eric Lowndes, the Dublin minor dual performer. "All the kids adore him. He's the one they want at their presentations," smiles Paul.
Paul and his colleagues are gearing up for a busy period. Paudie Butler is calling, and they'll be hosts for the National Hurling and Camogie Féile.
There is also an Irish Culture Day on the calendar which will embrace hurling, the Irish language and traditional music. Bernard Dunne has shown much interest in that initiative.
The Blakestown Road is known as the ground with a view. Outside of Parnell Park, it has the only seated stand in the county.
It's little wonder they are getting more and more of the big gigs. Having top facilities is the key to it. They are well able to provide first-class grub for the multitudes.
They were formed in 1978. Back then, west Dublin was farming country. Now, Clonsilla and Mulhuddart are as busy as Dublin Airport.
Peregrine's possess a fabulous clubhouse, a state-of-the-art indoor sports hall, ample car-parking, Ball Wall, all-weather surface and a new juvenile sand-based pitch.
"On one of the Saturdays we had terrible weather, yet we were still able to play nine matches on that pitch. And at the end of the day, you wouldn't think there had been a match on it at all," remarks Paul.
The presence of Peregrine's has hugely increased the profile of Gaelic games in the community. When the Dublin Spring Series began, they were a club that really bought into the idea.
Bus-loads left for Croke Park to support the Dubs. The club made a real occasion of it with pre-match and post-match refreshments in the club.
"We are happy with the way things are going. We have excellent committees and mentors here. They all put in a huge effort. They are great people.
"It's the same with anything in life -- you get out what you put in. I have been five years as chairman and this is my last year. I have enjoyed it. We have made progress, and it's all down to the hard work the people here have put in, and will continue to put in."