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18 Aug 2022

Exciting plans in store for Community Centre in Offaly

Exciting plans in store for Community Centre in Offaly

Kinnitty Community Centre

EXCITING plans are in store for Kinnitty Community Centre, with the appointment of a brand new committee.

Kinnitty Community Centre was built c.1800s by Kinnitty Castle as a result of the Payne Brothers (architects) appointment by Lady Catherine Healy Hutchinson to design Kinnitty village, the layout as seen today. The building served as a National school, teacher's residence and petty Court.

The nature of this building changed in the 1960s when the school closed and it lay derelict for nearly 40 years until the Community acquired the building generously from a gentleman named Frank Brennan, who was happy to see the vision for a community based project.

In 1991, local farmers engaged in a cattle scheme as the main fundraising drive. In 1995, the group approached the Leader Company for matching government funding but unfortunately their application was too late and the funding had been given elsewhere.

Offaly County Enterprise were just starting up and the committee decided to approach this new group for funding. A sum of £50,000 was secured which had to be used on the old building only. FÁS were approached and granted a Youth Training Scheme for the new building to the rear of the existing building.

Even after the huge effort given to fundraising and funding over the first eight years of this community project, there was an outstanding debt of £12,000. A dream auction was held and through the good will of volunteers and supporters, the debt was cleared in one day.

Over the past 23 years, the centre has been utilised by many groups and individuals, the predominant tenant being Kinnitty Community Playschool along with sports and fitness classes, music lessons, receptions after funerals and confirmations, parish sales, the annual June Bank Holiday Gun Club barbeque and many more community based projects.

The Centre has been entirely driven by volunteers who have given their time, energy, thoughts and dedication for the good of the community. It is difficult to name everyone individually for their contributions but it must be acknowledged that Jimmy Egan has been a tremendous asset to Kinnitty Community Centre and has been the main point of contact for anyone using the Centre. Thank you, Jimmy, on behalf of the community of Kinnitty and beyond.

The newly appointed committee is driven by great energy and motivation. Within the first month of establishment, a new exciting drama group, Kinnitty Players has been formed, along with a Facebook page and website detailing what's on and online booking system. The new committee invited people to come and give opinions about what they would like to see happening in their Community Centre on last Wednesday night.

For anyone considering to host an event in Kinnitty Community Centre or wanting information, please contact Kevin on (087) 2459799 or check out www.kinnittycommunitycentre.com.

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