Independent councillor Gerry Flynn has proposed that Clare County Council investigate the possibility of acquiring the former Shannon Diamond Social Club site which was once owned and run by De Beers.
In its heyday, the Shannon Diamond and Carbide Sports and Social, which opened in 1968, was a popular venue for the local community and was regularly used for socials and other functions.
The extensive 15-acre grounds included tennis courts and a number of playing pitches for rugby, soccer and Gaelic games, there was also a children’s playground.
Badminton, snooker, squash and darts were played inside the clubhouse which included a bar and dance floor.
Around 2001, De Beers restructured its industrial diamond division with the result of many job losses in Shannon. While this was a major setback for the region, so too was the closure of the sports and social club.
Following the closure, St Senan’s RFC was interested in acquiring the site but it was sold to a property developer who failed to get planning permission to build a hotel.
Today the clubhouse and the once immaculate pitches are in dereliction.
Cllr Flynn was very impressed during his recent visits to sports complexes in Kilrush and at John O’Sullivan Park, Lees Road, in Ennis, which are owned and very well managed by Clare County Council.
It is his belief that, if the site can be acquired, the local authority and its Head of Sport & Recreation, Tim Forde, are quite capable of delivering a superb municipal sports complex for the people of Shannon, on a par with that at Lees Road.
Liam Conneally, the council’s director of social development, is also well disposed to progressing this concept, providing of course that the land can be acquired.
In his motion tabled at the March meeting of Shannon Municipal District, Cllr Flynn noted that “the site in Shannon was once the hub of sports activity in Shannon and is strategically located and appropriately zoned to once again rise from the derelict state it is now in.”