Callan childcare facility secured as lease returned

Good news for the town...

Darren Hassett

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Darren Hassett

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darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Protesters march in Callan in support of Droichead Childcare facility

Protesting in Callan...

The future of the Droichead Childcare facility has been secured after Callan Community Network handed back the lease, it has been confirmed.

The future of the creche, which caters for around 60 children, had caused concerns for the local community after its landlords served a notice to quit on the childcare facility last year.

In a statement, Callan’s People Council said they are delighted to hear that after months of community effort; the lease for the entire Friary Complex and Community Creche building has been handed back to the Friary Trust.

Fine Gael Cllr David Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Friary Trust, said the lease being handed back means the previous eviction notice from Callan Community Network no longer stands and the Droichead Community Creche is secure.

He said the issue was resolved after “a long and protracted negotiation arising from a range of issues which included Callan Community Network issuing a notice to quit to Droichead last summer”.

Cllr Fitzgerald said the Callan Friary was more than just a creche it was a complex of buildings and in the mid-2000s a childcare facility was built on the grounds of the facility.

He said the handing back of the lease has provided a new start to the whole project and will allow the original intent of the Augustinians – who left the complex in 2004 - to be realised which was that the Friary would be for the benefit of the people of Callan.

People are being encouraged to engage in public sessions to air their views about the future of the Friary.

Cllr Fitzgerald added: “I’m delighted to confirm that Droichead is secure and will continue to be a community run creche for the area.”

Sinn Féin Cllr Sean Tyrrell said: “This should give Callan people the confidence to continue to stand together to improve the town and it is the hope that the new Town Development/Renewal Scheme will make further significant improvements.”

Since July of last year when the eviction notice was previously issued against the community creche it had upset a large part of Callan community and led to protests, three community meetings and the formation of the Callan People’s Council.

In a statement, they said: “The Friary Trust has worked tirelessly along with Kilkenny County Council to bring this to fruition.

“Our community should be proud of the work in highlighting these issues and we would like to thank everyone who has shown their support, attended meetings, attended the protest and shown their support in other ways.”