Moving Forward – Chairperson Address by Ian Harkin

When you run your own business the only real stakeholders that you have are business owners, employees, suppliers and consumers, 4 parties in all, there is complexity to it and in some circumstances, there may be slightly more stakeholders. Within a football club we have fans, board members, employees, volunteers, players, our academy, pitch trustees, 500 club members, shareholders and in the stadium development partnership we have 3 loans providers, the department of sport, the FAI, the council (funders), other local sporting clubs, local politicians, planning authorities, design team, the main contractor, subcontractors, and the stadium development committee itself. That’s over 20 different groupings all with different opinions and all passionately involved and immersed in our football club. When you think you’ve listened to everyone and shared your views and tried to explain some of the decisions we made you get thrown completely by something you didn’t see coming, several families have had ashes scattered on the pitch, some people have relatives who passed away whilst attending games or who spent their lives around the club. Coming to games each week is their way of connecting to their relatives, that is pretty profound. Finn Harps and Finn Park means a lot to people.

In the new stadium we hope to have a wall of remembrance, where people/families will be able to mark their respects to their family members/friends who have passed. We will offer a ceremony to those families mentioned above when the stadium is complete. We will also look to celebrate the lives of our volunteers, board members, employees and players. Our disability access area will be named after our Disability Access Officer Frank Larkin who passed away, we would also hope to remember Ronan Roddy, Derek Wilkinson, Fran Fields and many others that are both still with us and passed away. My email is [email protected] if anyone has suggestions we should consider.

We have made it a priority to try to speak to each of these groups and take on board their views. We are human too and we make mistakes, somebody has to make decisions and we all try to make them for the good of the club.

Get behind the project, start a fundraiser or donate today to our idonate page any help in any way would be gratefully received. We have an incredible opportunity to get back to the optimism, ambition and boldness that our original founders had, Donegal deserves to have a seat at the top table, we are capable of getting back into Europe and we will build our stadium that is the envy of the League. Up the Harps!

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