Causeway Chronicle

Minister Lyons visit ‘timely and informative’

Pics courtesy of David Cavin Photography / Coleraine FC Media

The Minister for the Department of Communities Gordon Lyons paid a visit to Coleraine Showgrounds on Wednesday morning as part of his visit to the North-West.

The minister had been invited at the start of his tenure as Minister for Communities by MLAs Maurice Bradley and Alan Robinson and also by Coleraine FC Chairman Colin McKendry.

Maurice Bradley said: “Alan and I follow the club home and away most Saturday’s and I was delighted that Councillor Tanya Stirling who also follows the club home and away was able to join Alan and I for the MInister’s visit. Unfortunately, Gregory Campbell MP who has been helping the club during funding applications was caught up at Westminister, but was represented by Alderman Aaron Callan from his office.

It was important for the Minister to hear first hand Coleraine Football Club’s exciting plays to develop a North-West Regional Stadium at the Showgrounds which not only caters for sen ior football, but a strong youth academy, BTEC educational attainment and a close relationship with local schools including the fast-growing ladies football.

Colin McKendry, Chairman, Coleraine Football Club, was thrilled to extend a warm welcome to the Minister Gordon Lyons, as as he visited the club to witness first hand the impactful work being undertaken for the betterment of the wider Coleraine community…

Minister Lyons took the opportunity to witness the significant strides made by Coleraine Football Club despite delays to the long awaited Sub-Regional Stadia Funding, which is crucial for enhancing the matchday experience of footballing enthusiasts.

Despite the challenges, the dedication and efforts of the club have not gone unnoticed, and Minister Lyons expressed his admiration for the club’s commitment to its fans and the broader community.

During his visit, Minister Lyons was briefed on the state of readiness of the North West Regional Stadium at The Showgrounds, a project pivotal not only for the club but for the entire region. The minister’s interest and support in this endeavour were evident, highlighting the importance of collaboration between the government and grassroots sporting institutions for fostering community development.

Moreover, Minister Lyons had the opportunity to interact with school children from the Hon. Irish Society PS, Killowen PS and St. Malachy’s PS benefiting from Coleraine Football Club’s community engagement initiatives during his visit. The club takes immense pride in its role as a catalyst for positive change, empowering the youth and instilling values of teamwork, discipline, and sportsmanship.

As Minister Lyons departed, he left with a deeper appreciation for the invaluable contributions of Coleraine Football Club to the community and pledged to continue supporting initiatives aimed at enriching the lives of Northern Ireland’s citizens.


Maurice Bradley