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Portlaoise GAA to scale up clubhouse plans after support from bereaved family members of the late Eoin and Dylan Fitzpatrick

Portlaoise GAA Club has announced a redevelopment of their grounds at Rathleague thanks to the support from the family of the late Eoin and Dylan Fitzpatrick.

The boys tragically lost their lives in a road traffic accident in Turkey last July.

Travis and Maryse Knight (née Fitzpatrick) are supporting the project in commemoration of Maryse’s beloved brother and nephew.

In a plan launched last year, Portlaoise GAA committed to a three-phased approach to the redevelopment of Rathleague, with the long-term vision to deliver a modern facility for its members, supporters and the community. That vision is now expanding.

Portlaoise GAA Club is revising and upgrading this plan to include a large club house and indoor training facility, spectator viewing stand, walking track, and pitch and flood light enhancements.

Travis Knight is the billionaire son of the co-founder of the clothing brand Nike – Phil Knight.

Mr Knight, who hails from Oregon, is an American animator, producer, director, actor, and former rapper.

He has worked as the lead animator and current CEO for the stop-motion animation studio Laika, and directed the films Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) and Bumblebee (2018).

Mr Knight’s connection to Portlaoise comes through his wife Maryse (nee Fitzpatrick).

Her brother Eoin and nephew Dylan passed away tragically in Turkey last year following an accident.

Travis and Maryse visited Portlaoise at Christmas time when they were met club officials about their plans.

“The greatest joys in our lives are family and community,” Maryse and Travis said.

“When our family was at its lowest, it was our community in Portlaoise that supported us, comforted us, and helped us find our way through unthinkable loss.

“The new Portlaoise GAA facility will be a loving tribute to the indelible memory of Eoin and Dylan, and to the community they held so dear.”

The club looks forward to sharing the plan with its members and to working with its partners and with Laois County Council throughout the planning process.

Eamonn Fennelly, chairperson of Portlaoise GAA, said: “All of us in the club feel incredibly privileged to commemorate Eoin and Dylan on behalf of their families.

“From the outset the ‘TOWN25’ project was not just about success on the field, it was about bringing the community of Portlaoise together and creating a facility for all in the town to enjoy.

“With the generous support of Maryse and Travis the ‘TOWN25’ development will ensure that Eoin and Dylan will live long in the memory of the community in Portlaoise.”

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