A graphic design image of the proposed new community centre.

Massive boost for Offaly village with €1.4m grant for new community centre

There has been a warm welcome for a €1.4m grant for a new community centre in Moneygall.

The funding was announced on Saturday by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys as part of a €30 million allocation, which will deliver 12 new community centres nationwide.

It’s the first time in the history of the State that a dedicated fund has been set up to deliver new-build community centres in rural Ireland.

The successful community centre projects, announced today, will receive capital grants of between €1 million and €6 million to build multi-functional centres in areas that currently lack community facilities.

The Community Centres Investment Fund – was launched in March 2023 to provide investment for new and ambitious community projects in our towns and villages.

After providing funding of €45.8m to over 860 projects for refurbishments, Minister Humphreys decided to put a renewed focus on supporting communities that have no community centre at all.

The Moneygall Development Association (MDA) said it was thrilled at the news.

It said this state-of-the-art facility would serve as a hub for the entire community, conveniently located adjacent to existing MDA developments such as the Community Garden, Walking Track, Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), and playground. The new centre will feature a spacious function room, a modern catering kitchen, as well as essential amenities including toilets, showers, and dressing rooms.

With this new facility, the MDA aims to host a wide range of activities and events, including training courses, bingo nights, concerts, and community gatherings. This project represents a significant step forward in enhancing the social and recreational opportunities available to residents of Moneygall.

Sean Nolan, Chairperson of the Moneygall Development Association, expressed gratitude to Moneygall FC for their cooperation and commitment of land, highlighting the collaborative spirit that has enabled this project to move forward. He also extended appreciation to local representatives, including Councillors, Senators, TDs, and Ministers, for their unwavering support in securing funding for the Community Centre.

The MDA acknowledges the crucial role played by Offaly County Council in supporting the application process and looks forward to collaborating with the Regeneration Team to bring this transformative project to fruition. Sean emphasised that this milestone marks an exciting day for the entire community and expressed delight in commencing work on the much-anticipated Community Centre.

Minister Pippa Hackett said she was delighted to welcome the allocation for Moneygall.

“I am very aware of the work of Moneygall Development Association, with Offaly County Council, on this application for a new Community Centre. There can be no doubting the community in Moneygall’s excellent track record of working together for the betterment of the village and wider community. This takes planning and a lot of voluntary dedication and today’s announcement is just reward. I look forward to the completion of a new Centre, filled with arts, culture, social and sporting activities and, importantly, which can facilitate larger gatherings. This is the only project to receive funding in the Midlands, with 12 successful applications across the country.

“I am aware of Moneygall Development Association’s vision of an inclusive space for all. Government policy, in Our Rural Future, is to support rural communities, and we are doing that and it was my privilege to support this application. But it is the people of Moneygall who are building the sense of belonging – and it is tangible. Hats off to them for that and best wishes for the wonderful new home at the heart of the Moneygall community.”

Local Birr area Fine Gael councillor John Clendennen also welcome the grant announcement. He said the new Community Centre would be “truly transformational for the village and the surrounding area”.

“The community centre is a safe, positive and accessible space for all manner of community activities and I want to ensure that community centres continue to remain a hive of activity. I want to congratulate Offaly County Council and Moneygall Development Association and to thank them for the vital work they do in providing services in their local communities. This funding will deliver high quality community facilities that will bring benefits to this community for many years to come’, continued Minister Humphreys.

Cllr Clendennen emphasised that 'the community spirit in Moneygall is palpable and the new community centre will mean that the community will continue to grow, and for generations to come there will be a modern facility that will be second to none, building on the great work of the community in recent years’.

“This government commitment to the project will ensure a facility that will be truly transformational for the local community, and I wish Moneygall Development Association well with the construction process, and every good wish and success to the entire community with this impressive facility.”