I am glad to report to you today the progress made on the new Community Centre in Ballyfad. Work is going well and it`s hoped to have all the work completed this year. This is great news for our committee and community. It had been a long journey for many of us who came together in 2003 to plan ahead with options (a) Refurbishing an old 1800`s schoolhouse in very bad repair or (b) knock it down and replace it with a new modern style hall. Many obstacles had to be cleared and of course financing a project of this size was always going to be a major concern for a small community.
Nevertheless the committee forged ahead, and planning permission was granted by Wexford County Council in 2015 for the construction of a new hall. From there on it was a matter of raising money and seeking funding to make our dream a reality. Our project was at the same time coinciding with the development of the Raheenleagh Windfarm Project which was nearby the village. From the beginning, the joint partners of the windfarm Coillte and ESB showed a keen interest in our new hall development.
Hope of a new hall in Ballyfad became a reality when SECAD (The administration company for the windfarm) invited groups in proximity to the windfarm to a meeting and outlined that grant funding would be made available to local groups for the life term of the windfarm.
We are glad to say our application was successful and the grant fund we received greatly assisted us to proceed with our hall project. Along with funding from Wexford County Council, Parish committees, Amenity & Arts grants, Donations, Fundraisers and voluntary hard work by people of our community we are now in the final phase of completion of the project and making the hall available to the community of the area.
Our New Community Hall will be the focal meeting place and will serve well to keep the community together and the opportunity for all interested groups to come together and enjoy their leisure time in a modern comfortable facility.
We as group appreciate the grant funding, we received from the Raheenleagh Windfarm Scheme and also the help and assistance we received from all SECAD staff in dealing with all the queries we had in our application process.
Croghan Barrack Group Appraisal
I wish to compliment the work that Croghan Barrack Group have carried out over the past few years.
They group have rejuvenated an area of waste ground close to the mountain and along the bank of the river Bann. The area is locally called the “commons”. All the work done has retained the character of the area and also with care of the Biodiversity of the area giving care to attracting wildlife, birds, bees, butterflies, and many species of insects. The wildflowers along the riverbank is a great attraction and with the added walks to hills and picnic area near the river many people come to relax in the serenity of this quiet place.