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Kilkishen Cultural Centre

Funds crisis for Kilkishen Development Association

A CALL has gone out for funding and other support for Kilkishen Development Association after it was forced to curtail all community activities due to a lack of money.

For the last five yeas, the association has been at the heart of efforts to provide essential maintenance in public areas and to keep Kilkishen Cultural Centre going, as a focal point for community events.

In a statement, the association said that, “Closure of our cultural centre because of the Covid Pandemic has taken its toll on our financial position”.

The association said last week that it had been unable to buy petrol for FÁS and Tús workers to continue grass-cutting in areas like Clonlea Cemetery, the amenity park, the grounds of the cultural centre and church, or to support Kilkishen Tidy Town by maintaining the grass margins on the approach roads to the village. “We hope you understand our current position until we organise a fundraising event later when the Covid restrictions lift,” the statement said. It also asked people for “suggestions and support to help us off the ground again”.

The cultural centre has been closed for the last five months, meaning the a key revenue source is no longer available. Speaking to The Champion, Mike Hogan Chairperson of Kilkishen Development Association said Covid restrictions had also curtailed normal fundraising activities. “These are not easy times,” he said. “We would normally be engaged in a programme for fundraising, but because of the restrictions, they won’t be possible. We are also conscious that other organisations are struggling to keep themselves going too. What we are looking at now is our regular fundraising cycle. We’re planning to run that on October 3. It will be conducted in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions and we’ll have to keep a close eye on those, because they will dictate how many people we can have taking part.”

Insurance costs, bills and the cost of essential maintenance are now piling up, on top of a debt of €16,000, the development association said in a Facebook post in recent days.

“In normal times, that debt would be regarded as a very small amount of money,” explained Mr Hogan. “But, as things are now, these are costs that we can’t cover. Our hope would be that we can begin to generate some funds again, but they won’t be anything like they were before Covid. This month, we would be hoping to get yoga and pilates classes back in the centre. They can operate with groups of less than six and comply with the guidelines. We would hope to raise the matter with our politicians and to have them come on board to support us. We’ve worked hard for a long number of years. Times are very tough. We will keep going in whatever way we can, but we really do need support.”

About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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