Clane's key community centre, The Abbey
Routine maintenance continued to be carried out on the historic Abbey building in Clane in 2020, the attendance at the agm of Clane Community Council heard on Monday, January 25.
In his secretary’s report to the online meeting, Paul Carroll, said the Abbey Community Centre remains a key amenity for the people of Clane. “Traditionally we would hold our AGMs in the Abbey but in the last year we have become used to having to hold all of our meetings remotely.”
Unfortunately, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the community council had to severely curtail use of the building and has been holding monthly meetings online.
There were none of the usual musicals, plays or pantomimes by Clane Musical and Dramatic Society in 2020.
Mr Carroll said they installed appropriate Covid-19 signage, sign-in sheets and contact free dispensers. “We made efforts to keep the Abbey open for a while between lockdowns but only limited use was ultimately possible.”
He said routine maintenance on the Abbey was carried out, including recommissioning the emergency lighting. “However, the need to substantially upgrade, refurbish and protect the Abbey building has been a priority for the Community Council in recent years and we require the assistance of relevant experts and professionals to assess what work needs to be done to safeguard the building for the community.”
The volunteer community council has had some luck on that front.
It applied to Kildare County Council to be selected for a national Community Facilities grant application. The Community Council was selected and the proposal was submitted through the Public Realm Project for the town.
Earlier this month Kildare County Council confirmed that €200,000 has been allocated to the Clane Public Realm Project.
Mr Carroll said the council indicated that from this total amount an allocation of between €35,000 and €45,000 (the value is yet to be confirmed) was made for the Abbey.
The grant is for preparatory work to prepare the Abbey for eligibility for grant aid to implement repairs and upgrades to services.
He said the full details of how and when the allocation will be available to has yet to be confirmed.
Mr Carroll said the community council will have to contribute €5,000 in matching funding. The full details of how and when the allocation will be available to us has yet to be confirmed.
The contribution of the District Court was also acknowledged for the Abbey Fund.
Between 2020 and 2019, €6,000 has come from charitable donations in the court.
While Covid has had many disadvantages, it has had some benefits.
The meeting heard that more people had reported seeing otters and kingfishers along the banks of the Liffey in the town.
Money wise, benefits included a fall in Insurance costs from €3,111 to €2,805 and lighting/heating bills from €2,530 to €1,554.
The balance sheet has risen from around €50,000 to €61,728 between December 2019 and December 2020.