BY GER McCARTHY
DURRUS FC ‘s successful fundraiser that included appearances from Ronnie Whelan and Ray Houghton shows how West Cork League clubs continue to come up with novel ways to stay in business.
At a time when clubs throughout the region are struggling for funds, the huge attendance at the Maritime Hotel in Bantry recently showed Durrus FC’s decision to dream big was justified.
Following in the footsteps of Dunmanway Town hosting a Liverpool XI and Drinagh Rangers organising a successful Liverpool Masters XI visit, former Republic of Ireland and Anfield stalwarts Ronnie Whelan and Ray Hougton’s appearance in Bantry helped the WCL club raise some much-needed funds.
‘We were absolutely delighted with how the event went and got positive feedback from everyone that attended,’ Durrus FC and main event organiser Tadgh O’Sullivan said.
‘The overall aim was to raise badly needed funds for Durrus FC and we certainly achieved that goal. After all the bills were paid we still managed to make a very healthy profit so everyone involved was delighted with such a positive outcome.
‘Money (for our club) was the primary reason behind bringing Ronnie Whelan and Ray Houghton over to West Cork but just as importantly, we managed to raise the profile of Durrus FC. Between newspaper publicity and a lengthy social media campaign, the Durrus area along with our football club never received so much online attention, re-tweets and Facebook posts. In a three-week period leading up to the event, Durrus was all over social media and everywhere I went everyone I spoke to from other West Cork League clubs were talking about us.’
Whelan and Houghton spent a few days in West Cork, meeting schoolchildren from the Castletownbere and Durrus areas as well as attending an event at the Beara Marine Hotel.