A Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club pitch in County Dublin has been successfully re-constructed using specialist grass seed breeder Barenbrug's BAR 9 sports mixture.
The Páirc Mearnóg ground in Portmarnock is home to Naomh Mearnóg CLG, one of the largest GAA clubs in north Dublin. Keen to improve the playing quality of its adult and juvenile football pitches - together totalling 12,750sq m - the club turned to one of its members to carry out the wholesale stripping of the existing pitches and construction of an all-new playing surface.
Taking up that challenge was local contractor Terence O'Connor from Renton Plant & Co Limited. "My brief was simple," he recalls. "The club wanted to achieve the best possible playing surface, so I looked into using the very best products available."
Having worked with Irish Barenbrug distributor Spray Chem before, Terence turned to the specialist turf company's Yvonne Ritchie for advice. "I'd heard about Barenbrug and the name cropped up when I asked others in the industry about the best products to use, so when I asked Yvonne for a recommendation and she suggested BAR 9 I didn't hesitate. I trust her advice completely."
Yvonne knew BAR 9 was ideally suited to the heavy wear the club's sand-based pitches are subject to - a point agreed by Barenbrug product manager for Ireland, Neil Pettican, who was on hand to support throughout the project. Says Neil: "BAR 9 was the perfect choice, offering excellent wear tolerance and sward density together with superior drought tolerance."
Yvonne's recommendation also included comprehensive advice on cultivars, seeding rates and the types and rates of fertiliser that would ensure successful germination and establishment - crucial, says Terence, given that the project was hampered by adverse weather conditions.
"Because of the bad weather, we knew that we needed to use top-quality products the moment we got a window for cultivation and seeding in order to complete the project on time," Terence continues. "The investment certainly paid off as we were amazed to see a sheen of green across the pitch just nine days after sowing! As the 'strike rate' continued it was clear the seed was of the highest quality as grass was a uniform colour and texture, plus germination was unbelievably high - as close to 100 percent as we have seen."
With Terence and his team having completed the renovation work, the pitches have been handed over to the club. Terence - whose company is also contracted to maintain the grounds - is confident the new BAR 9 pitches will be able to withstand the four matches per week expected to be played on them until spring next year.
"I'm very happy with how the project turned out," he concludes. "I've done about 30 football pitches in my career and this is the first time I've used Barenbrug. It's brilliant and I won't use or recommend anything else now!"
For more information on Barenbrug's products in Ireland, call distributor Spray Chem on +353 (0) 1 882 9114. Alternatively, call Barenbrug UK on +44 (0) 1359 272000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.barenbrug.co.uk.