Information night on community shop and cafe in Ballyhale

All welcome to come along on November 17

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

An information night will take place in the community hall in Ballyhale later this month outlining the ongoing progress of the community shop and cafe that will open in the village in the New Year.
Ballyhale has suffered a number of closures in recent years and the community are determined to re-invigorate the village. Key to this is the opening of the community shop and cafe, which will be run by volunteers.
It has been two years since the idea was first mooted and at the information night the board of the co-op behind the venture will outline what has happened to date.
“We will have a presentation outlining what has happened in the last two years. We will have a slide show, showing the state of the cottage when we took it over and what it looks like today. Plans will also be available showing what it will look like when it is finished,” said chairperson, Noreen Murphy.
The cottage is a protected structure on the Main Street, which dates back to 1802 and will be known as Billy's Tea\ Rooms and Shop’ and will local produce.
“On the night we will be explaining how the success of this project depends on the community's help and support. We will be looking for volunteers and will explain how everyone can become a shareholder in our community co-operative,” added Ms Murphy.
Over the last number of years the village has seen the closure of four shops, three pubs, post office, garda station and numerous small businesses that were operating locally.
Councillor David Kennedy (Sinn Fein) described it as ‘a wonderful community initiative’.
“This will bring a lot of life to the community that has been on its feet for the past seven or eight years since the opening of the motorway. We need the support of the community whether it is people volunteering to help out with the running of it or people dropping in for a cup of tea. I also want to commend the committee for all their hard work, It is also a great pilot initiative for villages all over the country,” he added.
The overall cost of the project will be in the region of €145,000 and it has been funded by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership, Kilkenny County Council and through local fundraising.
The information night will take place on November 17 at 7pm in the Parochial Hall.