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Kildare County Council To Buy Parochial House And Lands On Main St. Celbridge

File image: Kildare County Council

The house will be developed into a community centre.

Kildare County Council has announced an agreement between the Council and the parish of St. Patrick and St. Brigid to purchase the Parochial House and lands, Main St, Celbridge.

The council have plans to redevelop this significant building and site on the Main Street for the use of the community in Celbridge and the wider community of North Kildare. 

The council has said the vision is that this key, town-centre site will house a new multi-purpose community facility including a library and cultural centre, meeting spaces, a playground, outdoor performance location, sensory garden and outdoor amenities for all ages in Celbridge. 

Sonya Kavanagh, Interim Chief Executive of Kildare County Council commented: “Offering accessibility for all, this central location at the heart of the town, will provide for the recreational, cultural, educational needs and wellbeing of the community in one cultural campus. 

"The development and repurposing of this significant building will fit with the historic traditions of the site – as a supporter and provider of community strength, learning, compassion and culture,” she said.

Marian Higgins, Interim Director of Services, Kildare County Council said: “The development of a new library, cultural centre and community space will play a transformative role in the town’s confidence, capacity and sustainable growth while helping to support the economic, cultural and recreational life of the community.”

Cathaoirleach of the Celbridge-Leixlip Municipal District, Cllr Joe Neville, has welcomed the purchase of the Parochial House and Lands, Celbridge by Kildare County Council:“The future development of a Library, Cultural Centre and Community amenities will provide a new use for this significant building at the heart of the town while preserving its important history and heritage.

"In addition, this accessible cultural and community space will significantly increase footfall to the Main Street and will act as a catalyst for commercial growth in the town,” he added.

Councillor Michael Coleman commented: “In late June 2021, upon hearing that the parochial house and lands would soon be up for sale, I took the opportunity to engage with the Parish Committee and Fr. Joe Mc Donald, Parish Priest of Celbridge and Straffan, relating to the unique opportunity that this sale presented for the community of Celbridge."

Cllr. Coleman organised and attended an introductory meeting in the parochial house and attended this meeting with Interim CEO, Sonya Kavanagh, and Interim Director of Services, Marian Higgins, together with Fr. Joe and members of the Parish Committee.

“I am delighted that this meeting set this agreement in motion and many thanks to all in KCC and to Fr Joe and the Parish Committee for their work in achieving this successful outcome for our community," said Cllr. Coleman.

Fr Joe also acknowledged the enormous contribution of the Holy Faith sisters to family life in the parish over many decades and stated that he is delighted their legacy will live on in the redeveloped faith-based facility.

The redevelopment will include a new Parish facility that will become the administrative, pastoral and prayer hub for the faith community of St Patrick and St Brigid and will also incorporate the Roncalli concept.

Fr Joe has over the past few years, been developing the idea of the Roncalli Community. 

This is a new way of developing parish ministry. This lay, religious, and clerical community, led initially by Fr Joe, will also be based in the new Parish facility, to be known as Roncalli House.

In welcoming the Kildare County Council plans Fr. Joe expressed his satisfaction that the repurposing of the former Parochial House and lands will ensure continuation of the long-standing tradition of supporter and provider of community strength, learning, compassion, and culture that was associated with the Parochial house for circa 200 years.

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