Hopeful start for Celbridge forum

CELBRIDGE’s great historical heritage should be used to create more tourism and employment in the area, a special forum on the town heard last week.

CELBRIDGE’s great historical heritage should be used to create more tourism and employment in the area, a special forum on the town heard last week.

But the forum also heard criticism of the town’s relationship with Castletown House and the OPW.

Celbridge Community Council hosted  a “community forum” in Castletown House on 21 March.

At the outset, Sean Darcy, the Council’s spokesperson, said  the initial aim was to exchange ideas on the future of Celbridge through a number of short workshop style.

Five groups each looked at the positives for the town as well as some of the issues facing it and solutions.

Following a general session at the end of these, it was agreed that the CCC organising group would report back to a second meeting on 25 April.

Around forty people attended, including some elected representatives, Deputy Bernard Durkan and councillors, Kevin Byrne, Frank O’Rourke, Colm Purcell and Anthony Larkin among them.

The forum wants to increase networking amongst local community groups and community minded residents.

Recently, a group of business people in the town have formed a new business association.

Some raised concerns that the forum would concentrate on specific business matters rather than the community as a whole.

Castletown House and it surrounds are seen as one of a number of very good things about Celbridge but some see the OPW’s decision to close off the avenue from the house at Castletown Gates as being detrimental to the town getting best use from the House. The OPW has cited security concerns in response to this issue in the past.

There were also calls for the Arthur Guinness connection to be highlighted and better use of information technology for a Celbridge town website.