Bawnacre Centre celebrates milestone 40th anniversary

11th June 2024

Bawanacre 40.5
The Bawnacre Centre in Irvinestown is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a packed programme of events and activities for the month of June and beyond.
Since opening on 1 June 1984 by the legacy Fermanagh District Council in partnership with the former Western Education & Library Board, the Bawnacre Centre, now operated by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, has hosted a variety of sporting, social, cultural and educational events for the local community and continues to be a vital community resource offering a range of outdoor and indoor leisure, recreation and sporting activities and facilities.
Commenting on the 40th anniversary of the Bawnacre Centre, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor John McClaughry, said:
“The Bawnacre Centre is a real hub of sporting and community activity, going from strength to strength each year. Celebrations like these, give us a chance to look back and reflect on the past four decades.
From a personal perspective, this anniversary is particularly significant as I recall it was my father, Caldwell McClaughry who was Chair of the former Fermanagh District Council at that time and participated in the opening ceremony back in 1984.
I would like to extend my gratitude to the staff both past and present, who have played a significant role in the service provided by the Bawnacre. On behalf of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I would like to also extend a thank you to the people of the district who have made this centre such a success through their support and custom.
I would encourage everyone in the local community to come along and join in the events programme as we celebrate 40 years of this fantastic centre.”
To kick off the anniversary festivities, more than 700 young people from 70 teams across Ulster took part in football tournaments at the centre on 31 May and 01 June; while more than 1,550 school children participated in the Fermanagh and Omagh Cross Country Championships at the centre grounds last week.
Other events in June will include competitions for children and adults in sports including bowls, football, unihoc,  badminton, tennis as well as the first ever pickleball competition, a recent new and popular activity at the Centre.  There will also be a range of cultural, arts and recreational events taking place at the Centre.
June’s celebrations will culminate with a Family Fun Day on Friday 28 June from 4 pm until 7 pm to thank all those who have visited and supported the Bawnacre Centre throughout the years. The event will include games, bouncy castles, balloon modelling, face painting plus novelty sports and more.
In July, the first two teams to play on the grass pitches at the Bawnacre Centre – Irvinestown Wanderers and Tummery Athletic Football Club – will meet for an anniversary match, while in the early autumn, members of the successful 2004 Fermanagh Senior Football team will return to the Bawnacre for a challenge match, recalling the 20th anniversary of reaching the All Ireland Semi Final and their regular training sessions at the Bawnacre that year.
A tribute to mark the centre’s 40th anniversary has also been created and planted by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s horticulture team at the main entrance to the centre to welcome visitors over the coming months.
The Bawnacre Centre in Irvinestown has a range of outdoor and indoor leisure, recreation and sporting facilities. Over recent years it has benefited from significant investment in its outdoor facilities including the development of four flood lit all weather tennis courts, two mini tennis courts, two 3G playing pitches and indoors, the opening of a Pavilion and a sensory room in 2023.
For further information on the 40th anniversary events programme or if a local group would like to get in involved in the programme, please contact a member of the team at the Bawnacre Centre by telephoning 028 686 21177 or email