Celebrations to mark the 21st anniversary of the opening of Kilbride Community Centre will take place this weekend.
Reflecting on this great success story this week was local community activist Bernie Kearney, who is synonymous with the centre and many other projects in that area too.
The festivities begin on Friday night. There will be music in the centre from Frank Nelson and John Hogan, the latter having provided the music on the opening night back in 1997. Frank will be on stage from 9.30 pm and John Hogan and his band will take over from 11.30!
“We are all very proud of the centre” Bernie Kearney says, “and we invite everyone to come along on Friday night for free entertainment and refreshments. It’s our thank you to you for your support”.
On Sunday (July 29th) there will be family-friendly activities including Vintage Display, Children’s Disco, etc. (see advertisement).
In the late 1980s and early 1990s it was abundantly clear that a facility such as what is now the Kilbride Community Centre was needed. A new national school had opened in Fourmilehouse in 1987. In 1988 the Church had been renovated and the carpark extended. A resource centre was opened in Derrane too.
The community centre in Carnalasson, which had opened in 1968, was in need of repair and it was now obvious that decisions had to be made as to how the growing needs of the parish could be met. A committee was established in 1991 and after much consultation and great voluntary work the Kilbride Community Centre project became a priority in the area. PJ Moran was appointed as Engineer and a site was secured with Fr. Raymond Browne (PP) working closely with Bishop Christopher Jones (RIP).
Great fundraising support came from within the community. Ned Kelly was in charge of the building project. Everything went to schedule, and the centre was ready by June of 1997. A childcare facility and a gym were later added, the former now operated in its own purpose-built facility (and employing 16 people). In 2005 a community minibus service was added and a community shop was opened in 2014.
Since it opened 21 years ago, the Kilbride Community Centre has been a wonderful ‘hub’ for everything positive in the area.
Many people have helped with this success story and thanks are extended to all volunteers, businesses, state agencies, staff, etc.