Taoiseach opens new community room in St. Paul’s Church with help of locals
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar cut the ribbon on the new community room at St. Paul’s Church, Collooney, during his visit to Sligo last Friday.
Local members of the Girls Friendly Society helped the Taoiseach declare the new room open.
The Taoiseach was invited by The Reading Wing Community group which is responsible for the development of the creation of the new community room in the north transept of St Paul’s Church.
1st Achonry Boys Brigade attended also. There was a big representation from Sligo County Council including members of the Local Community Development Committee and the Local Action Group, and the management.
Collooney Mayor John Walsh and County Councillors attended.
Mr Varadkar was very appreciative of how the alterations complimented the building. He was captivated by some lovely harp playing by young Chloe who played his favourite, ‘March of Brian Boru’.
He concluded the visit by meeting the public and posing for photos.
Mr Nigel Bourke chairman of the group attributed the success of the project so far to four groups.
“Firstly the offer of €130,000 from Sligo Leader enabled the project to go ahead and is a big vote of confidence in the project.
“Secondly the building contractor Martin Wilson of Moymart construction. He has well lived up to his reputation as being very skilled and sympathetic to heritage buildings. The centre-piece is the dividing glazed gothic screen constructed from the pitch pine pews.
“His team rose to the challenge of turning a building site into a venue fit for a Taoiseach in ten days.
“Thirdly the committee have drawn upon their varied skills in dealing with planning, funding, construction and promoting the project in the community.
“Mr John Fahey has helped with certification and Wendy Lyons as project manager and brought with her a wealth of expertise as a Heritage Architect.
“Lastly the church and wider community. Parishioners and Rector Canon Ison have been patient with the disruptions but are looking forward to sharing in the new facilities.
“The church body kindly granted a six year licence to the group.
“St Paul’s school saw their playground ripped up but were very willing to facilitate the possibility of an afterschool. Neighbours Michael and Carmel Lavin generously facilitated the builders.”
It is expected that the room will be managed on a non profit basis and will be available for hire early in the new year.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar cuts the ribbon with Tony McLoughlin TD and local children. Pics: Donal Hackett.
Harpist Chloe meets Leo Varadkar.
Taoiseach Varadkar meets local students.