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A hall at the heart of the community

LOUGH Graney Community Development Association has had funding approved through Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) for the development of a community hall for Flagmount and Killanena.

The CLDC approval is the first hurdle in securing Leader funding and the group is now awaiting a decision from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

The development association has been working towards the provision of a community hall for a number of years. When an opportunity presented itself for LEADER funding to build a community centre, the committee, led by Graham Bowes, jumped at the chance.

“There have been previous community organisations that have come together over the years also looking to have a community centre built but that never came through for one reason or another. When this opportunity came about, we grasped it with two hands. As part of the funding and the application, we needed full planning permission and the job tendered so we now have a site, we have a building contractor and we have a building designed. All we need now is money,” Mr Bowes said.

Association secretary, Kathleen McNamara, explained finding a suitable site was the primary difficulty in getting this across the line but an opportunity arose whereby the association could lease land from the diocese. They have taken up a long-term lease and secured the site, with is to the left of Flagmount National School as people approach the village. The association stressed the centre will be a separate entity to the school and Kathleen said it is a facility for the whole Killanena-Flagmount parish.

“We made the application in May 2012 and it is approved by CLDC under the Leader programme. Now we are waiting for approval from the department. We have to provide 25% of the funding and they will provide 75%. CLCD have approved funding for €235,000,” she said.

If granted funding, the proposed centre will be a multipurpose building catering for all the community.

“We are excited about getting new sports and drama into it that wouldn’t have been there, which opens the doors to people who mightn’t be sporty and give them an opportunity to do something they would like to do. It will be one big indoor function hall, male and female changing rooms and a small office space,” Mr Bowes said.

A big fundraising effort is currently underway and all households have received information in relation to it.

The initiative is open to all generations in North-East Clare and is limited to 250 members.

For further details or to secure tickets, contact Marie Doyle on 086 371211 or Thomas O’Mara on 087 7666548.


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