Heydon’s office occupied by Kilcullen childcare campaigners

Kilcullen campaigners for childcare facilities occupied the offices of Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon on Saturday morning.

Kilcullen campaigners for childcare facilities occupied the offices of Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon on Saturday morning.

The locals were protesting a Government decision in recent weeks not to support Kilcullen Community Childcare and Education Centre .

And their anger is focused at Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.

The group set up a temporary ‘Community Playgroup’ in the TD’s Newbridge on Saturday last, June 22.

The prefab premises of the 30 year old community playgroup are in poor repair and a recent HSE report has ordered the group to improve them.

One of the young protesters, five year old Eleanor Steed, handed Deputy Heydon a letter for Minister Hogan, saying, “I have been taught a promise is a promise, and you must keep your promise. The children of Kilcullen deserve a proper Childcare Centre”.

As reported in last week’s Leinster Leader, the project to build a new centre has come unstuck after offficals at the Department ruled that because it was a childcare facility, it was ineligable for funding.

That’s despite the fact that funding was secured last year for a manager to progress the project.

The blame game has started in earnest in past week with the Department asserting to this reporter that they didn’t know it was a childcare project until earlier this year - adding that the information came from Kildare LEADER Partnership.

But locals say their focus is the Minister, saying they have a legitimate expectation that the Department’s commitment to approve the project would be honoured.

- Conor McHugh