Signs from a picket under way at Droichead childcare facility in Callan last month. Picture: Pat Moore
There is no threat to the delivery of a high-quality creche service for the children and families of Callan and surrounding area, according to the chairman of the Callan Community Network (CCN).
In a statement issued last night, Sean Butler said he was addressing a number of the issues raised about the future of the crèche in the former Augustinian Friary. A notice to quit the premises was served on occupiers the Droichead childcare facility back in June.
The centre caters for around 60 children. An extension was granted on the notice to quit until next month, but there is still a lot of concern locally about what will happen into the future. It's understood that CCN wishes to put the service out to tender for reasons of 'sustainability'.
CCN now says it wishes to reassure the public that there is no threat to the delivery of a high quality crèche service. CCN made the original application for the development of a state-of-the-art creche for the town, and when it was successful, CCN managed the construction and initial operation of the facility.
It says it is 100% committed to an affordable child care service of the highest standard. It says it is in the interest of all that a sustainable model exists to secure the long term future and development of the facility to the highest standards for the greater Callan community.
"Issues have been on-going between the relevant committees for a number of years and there have been extensive and multiple processes, with government sponsored mediation, to try to resolve matters," reads the statement from chairman Sean Butler.
"Unfortunately, these have not been fruitful.
"CCN has been actively working with the appropriate government authorities that are responsible for the delivery and quality assurance of child care services. The situation is currently being assessed by these statutory agencies who will make the necessary decisions independent of any local vested interests. CCN continues, without prejudice, to liaise with these agencies.
"Members of CCN, working in an entirely voluntary capacity for the advancement and well-being of the Callan area, have encouraged its supporters and everyone involved in CCN’s activities to refrain from all and any negative activities that would besmirch the good name of our great town."
Mr Butler again criticised the 'resort to personalized and politicized activity on the internet and in personal relationships' by some parties, including alleged cyber intimidation on social media.
A public meeting is to take place in Callan on Tuesday, July 25 on the future of the Droichead childcare facility in the parish hall. The meeting has been organised by local Sinn Fein TD Kathleen Funchion and councillor Sean Tyrrell.