Work to begin on West Limerick parish hall following government grant

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

WORK is expected to begin shortly on a new community hall in Castlemahon village following the approval of almost half a million euro in funding for the project.

WORK is expected to begin shortly on a new community hall in Castlemahon village following the approval of almost half a million euro in funding for the project.

West Limerick Resources (WLR) this week signed off on a €499,670 grant for the development, which it is hoped will become a community hub for Feohanagh-Castlemahon parish.

The 6,850 square foot hall is to be built on land adjacent to Mahoonagh national school, and will include a 312-seat hall, three meeting rooms, a kitchen and dining area and other facilities.

Brendan Normoyle, secretary of the local hall committee which has been working to further this development for the past two years, said that the community was “extremely grateful and delighted” following the funding approval.

“Everyone involved is now excited about moving on to the next step and starting to build the hall. This facility will have a tremendous impact on the entire community and will open up a whole range of new opportunities for us”.

The final grant was signed off on by WLR this Tuesday following approval from the Department of Environment. The securing of central funding was the last hurdle that needed to be cleared with the project, which received planning permission from Limerick County Council last year.

Shay Riordan, manager of WLR, said that “this facility will not only serve the needs of the community now but for years to come... This facility will fill the one void which has existed to date – a focal point in which to bring together all the different strands and groups that make up its diverse community life and spirit.

“It is this same community spirit which I am sure will see this facility grow and develop for many years to come”.

Construction on the hall is scheduled to begin this spring, and the total project is expected to cost just over €650,000. To date, the committee has raised €50,000 locally, and will have to raise the same amount again. A series of fundraising and community events are scheduled to take place in the coming months, beginning with a ‘Food of the Heart’ event at the Courtenay Lodge Hotel on Friday, February 8. A number of parish concerts and drama performances to benefit the hall project will also take place between now and March.

Fine Gael TD Patrick O’Donovan said that the grant is a “massive investment for both the current and future generations” of Feohanagh-Castlemahon. “I have no doubt but that the entire community will be well capable of delivering, and managing, what is a very significant project in West Limerick.

“This announcement will also be an important for employment in the parish during the construction”.