The Dunmore hall is due to be renovated and upgraded thanks to a €235,601 Community Fund set up by Kilkenny County Council to compensate local residents for the inconvenience of living beside the county landfill for over a decade.
The council agreed at its meeting on Monday to hand over the Dunmore Community Fund, worth €235,601.38, on a staged basis to the trust that has been managing the building since the 1970s.
The money will be used for a complete overhaul of the building, from new windows, floors and doors to insulation, new access and fire safety standards, and wiring for broadband. Contractors from St John’s parish were invited to submit tenders to carry out the work, and the tenders are at an advanced stage of assessment, representatives of the trust told Monday’s council meeting.
The redeveloped centre will be used for activities ranging from educational purposes to social events, children’s birthday parties, hospitality, a place for local groups to meet, and possibly a community playschool.
Council chairman Paul Cuddihy (FG) called the plans “a template for other groups who are looking to make a difference in their own area,” and said: “I think it is a tremendous thing to see that old building being given new life.”
“If there is one particular item that knits a community together, it is a community centre,” said Cllr John Coonan (FF), who wished “the committee and the wider community every success with what they have proposed.”
Councillors said it was an opportune time to ask the National Roads Authority (NRA) again about reducing the speed limit on the N77 through Dunmore from 100kph to 60kph.