The people of the parish turned out in large numbers to the re-opening of the Community Hall. The seal of approval was given unreservedly as all present were loud in their praise of the “new look” building.
Michael Shields, Chairman of Bennettsbridge Hall Ltd, spoke on behalf of the group and welcomed everyone. He gave a short summary of events along the way culminating in this special day for the parish.
The chairman was appreciative of the enormous support which the group had experienced since the project was put in place. The priests of the parish, Fr Duggan and Fr Dalton had given their support with permission from the diocese and a lease was secured on the hall. Almost €20,000.00 was raised through the Brown Envelope Collection and money is still coming in. He thanked the architect, Peter Bluett, who had endeavoured with great success to retain the character of the 100 year old building. The builders were thanked for their efficient workmanship throughout. He paid tribute to his colleagues on the committee and singled out Kathleen Conway for special mention saying she had been a great support to the group and was always available to help. The chairman also thanked local newspaper Kilkenny People for keeping events in the forefront. Joan Cleere was thanked in this regard. Mairead Rohan, Leader Partnership, complimented the group for their work behind the scenes to bring the project to such a successful conclusion and she praised the parishioners for their support throughout.
The building was blessed by Fr Duggan and he was loud in his praise of the marvellous transformation carried out on the hall. He touched on the many memories which some present who had attended school in the building might have. He praised the group who had taken up the challenge and hoped that the new hall would be used to the full.
The ribbon was cut by some of the children involved in groups which use the hall, including cubs, beavers and Irish dancers.
Other speakers included Chairman of Bennettsbridge GAA, Alan Flynn. He said he was delighted to be present and wished the committee every success.
Billy Molloy, former Chairman of the Development Group compliment the group and parish for another great success story. Billy was involved in the Playground initiative which celebrates its first birthday this month. The attendance included public representatives, Senator Pat O’Neill, Councillors Michael O’Brien and Marie Fitzpatrick.
Refreshment were served and the ceremonies drew to a close with songs from the children’s choir under Billy Molloy to round off the day.The people of the parish turned out in large numbers to the re-opening of the Community Hall. The seal of approval was given unreservedly as all present were loud in their praise of the “new look” building.