Castlecomer courthouse to get new lease of life

A LOCAL group are hoping to get permission to use the former courthouse in Castlecomer as a youth cafe.

A LOCAL group are hoping to get permission to use the former courthouse in Castlecomer as a youth cafe.

Director of Services with Kilkenny County Council, John McCormack said: “In relation to Castlecomer our community section are working with a local youth group in Castlecomer, KLP, Ossory Youth and Foroige to develop a steering group that will oversee the establishment of a Youth Café in the old courthouse,” he said. Mr McCormack said that the council, will take over ownership of the building and then lease it to a group who would access funds through grant assistance from Kilkenny Leader Partnership.

Local councillor, Maurice Shortall welcomed the initiative. “The youth cafe project is being driven by Ger Ferris who is a member of the County Drugs Committee and the project would be run in co operation with Foroige, Ossory Youth, Kilkenny Leader Partnership and Kilkenny County Council.

“When the courthouse was closed down I said that it should be retained and used by the community and while this is a very worthwhile venture all possibilities should be considered if any further applications are made,” he said.

A spokesman for the Courts Service confirmed that they are in discussions with the local authority to transfer the courthouse to them for use as a youth cafe.

The spokesman also confirmed that they are in talks with the council to the future use of Thomastown as a community facility. “We are anxious for these former court buildings to be made available to the community as a resource for the public,” he said.

Mr McCormack stated the Thomastown Community Arts Alliance are interested to take on the lease of “The Sessions House” in Thomastown. “They will be supported by the KLP in doing this and the council will facilitate this once details of transfer to council ownership have been confirmed,” he said.