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