In 2002 Frank Sheehy Park was closed for major re-development. Work got underway in 2003 and the pitch as well as the upgraded changing facilities and club rooms reopened again in May 2004 much to the delight of every player, club organiser, committee member and local people in general. Since its reopening, the pitch has hosted many games and was once again the training ground for the senior team victory in the North Kerry Championship Final in December of 2004 and continues to be the back bone of the preparations of all twnty five registered teams in the club from senior to juvenile underage boys and girls.
While phase one, two and three of the latest redevelopment project was an overwhelming success, the final phase of redevelopment commenced in September 2008.
The Emmets Redevelopment Committee met with An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism John O'Donoghue on March 1st 2007, to discuss the latest plans for the Redevelopment of Frank Sheehy Park in Listowel. Pictured from left to right, Tadgh Moriarty(Field Chairman), John Hartnett(Club Secretary), Con McCarthy(Finance Committee Chairman), Stephen Stack(Re-development Chairman), Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Mikey Kennelly(Club Chairman) and Sports Minister John O'Donoghue
37 William St.
I'm delighted you and your committee have decided to develop Frank Sheehy Park.
I remember a sending off during the course of a Listowel Town League final many years ago when I was young and Finn Mc Cool and the Fianna rode through the bogs and hills of North Kerry. The late Vincent Hartnett of Greenville jumped on Lofty Kelleher and pinned poor Lofty face dozen into a pool of water on the twenty one yard line by the simple maneuver of sitting on him. Vincent was sent off and when he enquired of the referee the exact offence that led to his premature dispatch to the dugout, the referee Berkie Browne replied, "attempted drowning Vincent".
There's a huge economic loss to the town as a result of our pitch "being only fit for growing Rice" for up to four or five months every year . I remember great days when every pub restaurant and bed and breakfast would be full after a big game. You must also remember, my friend, the impact of having the pitch closed on the aged and infirm. I find it impossible to go to matches nowadays other than in Listowel. We are starved of football for nearly half the year but more importantly so are the kids.
Our town is a great town full of good people but there are problems with drugs and alcohol abuse. The sporting organizations have a huge role to play in the struggle for the hearts and minds of our young people. Every youngster in town can walk safely from their home to the pitch. Our club will always treat every child equally. I am delighted you see this project in the wider context of social integration. It makes me proud to be President of Listowel Emmets.
I will give you every support I can Stephen. The ravages of ill health and the inexorable march of time mean I will never have the pleasure of booting a ball again up and down the sports field again but it's the kids who are important. They say the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eaton; our battle will be won in Sheehy Park.
We have a sacred duty.
John B Keane