Fermanagh GAA, in conjunction with the IFA, Ulster Rugby and Athletics Ireland, are seeking discussions with Fermanagh Omagh District Council over the possibility of gaining some of the land on the Necarne Estate adjacent to the Bawnacre Centre which they hope to develop into a Centre of Excellence with top class training facilities for sports people in the county.

Fermanagh GAA Vice Chairman Phil Flanagan revealed this week their hopes for the site.

“We want to be included in the future development of Necarne Estate,” he said.

“We are seeking discussions with Fermanagh Omagh District Council over the possibility of getting a portion of the land along with the IFA, Ulster Rugby and Athletics Ireland so that we can develop training facilities which are badly needed.

“We have already had advanced discussions and an agreement with the three other sporting bodies on the matter and we feel that it would be a very smart move for the council to work with us all on this,” he said.

There are already proposals in place for Necarne from preferred bidders Gardrum Holdings Ltd to invest in creating a sustainable, multi-purpose tourism and leisure destination, comprising a holiday retreat with a range of outdoor activities, enhanced walkways and cycle paths and events space developed over a phased basis.

Flanagan though is hoping that the council will be willing to give the sporting bodies 30 acres of the 200 acre site.

And he believes that it is an opportunity for the council to help in the provision of GAA facilities, something which he feels they have lacked in the past.

“There is a deficit in terms of what the council has supplied for GAA historically compared to other sports and we would feel that this is an ideal opportunity for this to be addressed and from the council’s point of view it is at no cost because they wouldn’t be expected to develop the facilities, we would be hopeful of securing Peace funding for it.

“We are hoping for an increased engagement with the council in the coming weeks and hopefully we can get a positive response,” he added.

This issue was raised at an otherwise low key County Convention in the Westville Hotel on Monday night.

In terms of discussion on the night, Martin McBrien, Hearings Committee Secretary, refuted a suggestion by Martin Higgins in his Referees Report that there was a growing feeling within the referees panel that reporting abuse can turn out to be a pointless exercise as there was a perception that too many cases were being downgraded or overturned on appeal.

However, McBrien stressed that this was wrong and the vast majority of cases of abuse of referees resulted in suspensions being served.

There were no votes required on the night although there are a couple of positions yet to be filled.

Management Committee

Chairman - Greg Kelly; Vice - Chairman - Phil Flanagan; Assistant Secretary - Ferghal O’Connor; Treasurer - Sean Burns; Assistant Treasurer - To be filled; Coaching Officer - To be filled; Irish Language and Culture Officer - Mary Sweeney; PRO - Pauric McGurn; Central Council - Peter Carty; Ulster Council - Brian Armitage, Jim Tummon, Delegates to Congress - Sean Burns, John McElroy; Delegates to Ulster Convention - Eugene Hueston, Jonathan McManus.