Mayor Naoise Ó Cearúil
The Mayor of Kildare has said that the fact that the town of Maynooth has no community centre is "an absolute embarrassment."
Councillor Naoise Ó Cearúíl made the comments during the most recent Clane-Maynooth Municipal District Meeting on Friday, January 7.
He admitted to those in attendance that he was "frustrated" with Kildare County Council's (KCC) report, which was issued by Denis McDermott, Senior Executive Officer for KCC's Economic, Community and Cultural Development Department.
It read as follows: "Maynooth Community Space has acted as a community centre in Maynooth for some time. Unfortunately this has been closed due to Covid restrictions: we are currently working with the facilities section to find a way we can safely reopen the facility to the public.
"A trial is currently being run in Newbridge Town Hall and we await the outcome of this.
"We hope that Maynooth Community Space will reopen in the new year assuming a positive outcome from the trial and an easing of current restrictions," the report concluded.
Mayor Ó Cearúíl claimed that there is still no place for community groups to meet on a daily basis.
He explained: "It is an absolute embarrassment: the town of Maynooth has been left aside.
"It's been growing so much over the years, and yet KCC, who praise this fact, can't seem to accommodate it."
Mayor Ó Cearúíl further expressed frustration over how "very little funding" is allocated to Celbridge, Leixlip, "and to a lesser extent, Kilcock and Clane."
"We need to get real here: this will probably be back next month and nothing will have changed.
"In my seven and a half years on KCC, I have seen no progress whatsoever over this issue," the Fianna Fáil politician added.
He then urged Marian Higgins of KCC to look into the issue again, to which she replied that she would be open to meeting with him to discuss a possible new setting.
Mayor Ó Cearúíl's sentiments were backed up by Fine Gael Cllr Brendan Wyse, as well as Senior Executive Officer McDermott, who said that he "understood the Mayor's frustrations.
"Let's get boots on the ground and look into this," Mr McDermott added.
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