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Community loan for Tullow Tennis Club

When Tullow Tennis Club closed its gates for the last time sixteen years ago, few were surprised. 

Founded in 1950, the club had fallen into disuse and closure had become all but inevitable. It represented the loss of a sporting and community focal point for the Co. Carlow town. 

But Tullow is the club that would not die, simply because the local community wouldn’t allow it. 

In recent years, former club members - led by Donnacha Harkin - began to explore how the community could develop a new, upgraded facility. A feasibility study outlined how a revived tennis club could be the ‘anchor’ for a new, all purpose sports centre. 

No such facility existed in either the town, or surrounding areas. 

The study pointed to the existence of similar, successful centres in towns with comparable populations. 

Plans were quickly drawn up and planning permission acquired for an ambitious new facility. It was to be located on the site of the old tennis club - close to several residential areas - and would include six all-weather flood-lit tennis courts and two indoor courts. 

The indoor courts can be used for a variety of other sports, such as soccer, badminton, basketball and bowls. 

And to emphasise the new centre’s sustainable credentials, it draws energy from a number of ‘green’ sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels. 

The entire project was designed to be community-focussed and community driven, catering for as many needs as possible. 

This ambitious project was supported by Clann Credo and provided powerful evidence of how communities can rebuild and rejuvenate from within. 

Location: Tullow, Co. Carlow


"But Tullow is the club that would not die, simply because the local community wouldn’t allow it."