The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

BE­CAUSE he was bet­ter placed than any­one else in the lo­cal­ity at the time, Red­mond Roche called for im­me­di­ate ac­tion to be taken to rem­edy the frag­ile state of the roof of the old Carnegie Li­brary.

One of the fine old ladies of build­ings in the Castleis­land area, it may have lost its books but it has cer­tainly im­proved its looks in re­cent times.

That’s thanks to the Castleis­land Cham­ber Al­liance which was in­stru­men­tal in an ex­ten­sive makeover ear­lier this year – a fact also noted in the re­cent Tidy Towns re­port.

It’s all so dif­fer­ent now, but back in Fe­bru­ary 12th 2014 the wicked Dar­win’s Day Storm tore a hole in the roof and whipped slates from the south­ern side of the build­ing.

While Red­mond Roche pointed out the dam­age from his home just across the street, Cllr. Bobby O’Con­nell im­me­di­ately called on Kerry County Coun­cil to step in be­fore any fur­ther dam­age was done to the build­ing. The roof was re­paired and it rested so un­til this year’s up­grade in ap­pear­ance inside and out.

While the roof was se­cured for the time be­ing, its long term sta­bil­ity could not be as­sured.

This week, Cllr. O’Con­nell was back with the news that his party col­league and Min­is­ter for Ru­ral and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment, Michael Ring TD an­nounced that Castleis­land was among the ru­ral towns and vil­lages in a fresh round of re­newal scheme fund­ing.

More im­por­tantly, the an­nounce­ment re­veals that over €84,000 has been made avail­able for the re­fur­bish­ment of the build­ing in preparation for its new life as a tourism of­fice and with an em­pha­sis of the roof work.

Need­less to say. Deputy Danny Healy Rae was also on to welcome the news of Min­is­ter Ring’s an­nounce­ment.

The scheme is a key part of the Gov­ern­ment’s Ac­tion Plan for Ru­ral Devel­op­ment and Min­is­ter Ring ex­pained it thus:

“The Town and Village Re­newal Scheme is an im­por­tant part of my Depart­ment’s work to re­ju­ve­nate and re­vi­talise ru­ral Ire­land and should have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on towns and vil­lages across the coun­try.

“I have placed a par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis this year on projects which have the ca­pac­ity to sup­port the eco­nomic devel­op­ment of ru­ral town and vil­lages as well as their neigh­bour­ing town­lands. The scheme will also sup­port im­prove­ments to pub­lic ameni­ties in town and village cen­tres, to help make them more at­trac­tive places in which to live and work and to visit.

“Fund­ing awarded to in­di­vid­ual towns and vil­lages this year gen­er­ally range from €20,000 to €100,000, with 40 projects re­ceiv­ing in ex­cess of €100,000 for more am­bi­tious pro­pos­als.”

The al­lo­ca­tion of €21 mil­lion by the Depart­ment of Ru­ral and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment un­der the Town and Village Re­newal scheme fol­lows the roll out ear­lier this year of a range of other ini­tia­tives to sup­port ru- ral Ire­land, in­clud­ing the CLÁR scheme, the Out­door Recre­ation In­fra­struc­ture scheme and the Lo­cal Im­prove­ment Scheme.

A new roof in prospect for one of Castleis­land’s most iconic land­marks.

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