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Community enhanced with opening of The Junction

THE newly opened Ennis Youth and Community Resource building, known as The Junction, will help build relationships and strengthen communities, according to the chairperson of Clare Youth Service.
The Junction was officially opened in Cloughleigh at the weekend by Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, and Councillor Tommy Brennan, Mayor of Ennis.
Speaking at the launch, Michael Byrne, chairperson of Clare Youth Service, commented, “This initiative will see the development of youth-led community facilities for the benefit of all. It will bring all sections together building the relationships, which are the foundation of strong communities. Young people will learn about their community, about their rights and responsibilities as part of a community and those of us who are a bit older will see young people grow and emerge into active citizens and leaders.
“The challenge at this stage is to continue to build on our experience of operating an integrated youth service open to all young people and expand this facility to provide opportunities for the wider community,” added Mr Byrne.
The Junction, which was constructed on land owned by Ennis Town Council, features a youth café/drop-in centre and will be used as a base from which youth services and programmes to targeted groups will be delivered.
The project costs amount to €645,000, of which €357,000 was allocated to the council under the Social and Community Facilities Capital Scheme 2006. The balance of the capital expenditure was provided from the council’s own resources. The council was the contracting authority for the construction of the building and has leased the completed building to Clare Youth Service.
Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Tommy Brennan described, the new youth and community facility as a major addition to the town’s community and recreational infrastructure.
“The council has a proven track record of investment in recreational and sporting facilities in the town and this facility is a further enhancement of the community’s assets. The council has worked closely with the Clare Youth Service to bring this project to fruition. A range of youth programmes will be delivered from this building and in addition, the facilities here will also be available to the wider community.
“I would like to compliment and congratulate the contractor Liam O’Doherty of Gildoc Ltd and the design team, which was led by Richard Rice of Healy and Partners, on completion of an attractive, modern, energy-efficient building. I would also like to acknowledge the council staff involved in this project,” Mayor Brennan told those attending the official opening ceremony.
Ger Dollard, Ennis town manager stated, “Today marks the completion of the construction phase of the project but the start of the most important element, which is the delivery of programmes by Clare Youth Service and the use of the facility as a resource for the wider community. We have established an advisory board comprising of representatives of the Youth Service, local community, town council and gardaí to oversee the development of the facility. Ennis Town Council looks forward to continuing to play its role in what we expect will be a very successful community facility.”
Clare Youth Service has been at the forefront of the development of many initiatives in its 42 years of working with young people and their communities throughout the county. Set up in 1969, Clare Youth Service today provides direct services to over 3,000 young people aged 12 to 25 years around the county.

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