DONEGAL TOWN SNOOKER CLUB
NEW YEAR'S DAY 2000
The Donegal Snooker Club enrolled its fiftieth junior member recently, a healthy pointer towards the long-term future of the club. With fifty senior members to boot, the club’s role in providing a social and sporting outlet in the town is significant.
Founded in 1947, it has had its ups and downs through the years but as we start a new century, the committee is determined to provide the best facilities possible for the young and not so young of the town, of whatever sex. Members play on top quality tables with a non-smoking area in the senior section. Tea and coffee making facilities are available to the members at no cost.
The club has earned respect throughout the county for the standard of its snooker, with James Gallagher proving himself to be the best player in the county in 1990 and the club winning the Top Four Shield in 1999. The two league teams are currently second in both the Donegal and Derry leagues.
The fact that the club purchased two championship pool tables in December demonstrates the club’s commitment towards its junior membership. The enforcement of the no-smoking ban in the junior section by club steward John McGlanaghey, as well as his commitment to the hygiene, behaviour and general upkeep of the club has made the venue a safe environment for our young people. The committee insists that each junior pay the annual fee of two pounds so as to instil pride in the club and to engender feelings of responsibility for their own actions and the actions of others. The respectful speech made by Luke McGee on receiving the Junior Hamper sets the standard to which all juniors should aspire.
Snooker is not the sport it was in the halcyon days of the eighties when millions watched on television. Many clubs have folded since then. Only five clubs still compete in County Donegal and the Donegal League is the only league still operating in Connacht-Ulster. This places the club’s current well being in perspective.
Canon McMullin made a commitment to the youth of Donegal half a century ago. Hard-working committees have over the years endeavoured to maintain a snooker club in the town. The parish has always rallied behind them and the Vincent de Paul was a great help. The club’s database of over six hundred members since its inception is peppered with three and sometimes four generations of the same family. Many are sadly no longer with us and are collectively remembered at every Christmas presentation.
In the new century, the club aims to continue to be self-financing and to plough back any surplus into the upkeep of the facilities, as has always been the case. It runs ten competitions for juniors, seniors, veterans and pool buffs, not forgetting the hosting of the County Championship every couple of years. It welcomes contact with other sporting clubs and has run Inter Firm competitions since the eighties. It expresses its gratitude to the local media for their coverage and to Conor Sinclair for always being available to take photos. Without our many sponsors and friends, we could not host open tournaments and we take this opportunity to thank all those who have provided assistance and financial help down the years.
Snooker is a great game, impossible to master. Often frustrating, it is rewarding and challenging. The club always welcomes new members so, if you fancy a game, Water Street is the place to go. You’ll find members of all abilities and with a cue in one hand and a coffee in the other, you’ll soon feel at home.
IN THE TWELVE MONTHS SINCE THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN, THE CLUB HAS ENROLLED ITS 119TH JUNIOR MEMBER, ITS 18TH STUDENT MEMBER AND THE SENIOR MEMBERSHIP IS NOW 60 STRONG. THERE ARE NOW THREE TABLES IN THE SENIOR ROOM AND ONE IN THE JUNIOR ROOM. WE ALSO OWN TWO POOL TABLES AND AN 8 BY 4 SNOOKER TABLE. ALL TABLES HAVE BEEN RECENTLY REFURBISHED. NEW SEATING FOR BOTH ROOMS HAS ALSO BEEN PURCHASED.