Chairman’s Address To KCDA AGM.
(Kilcoole Community Development Association).
Thursday 8 June 2017.
Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the AGM of KCDA. Thank you all for attending this evening. Firstly I want to thank the board for their hard work during the year, also our group of volunteers who open and close the centre when required, our tidy towns committee and most importantly I want on all our behalf to thank Therese and Brendan for the great job they have done over the last twelve months. I also say thanks to Jason McGrath our accountant and Cregan Accountants our auditors who both ensure all of our financial matters are up to date and professionally administered. I also wish to say thanks to all of the clients that use the centre for a wide range of activities. Our Community Centre is going from strength to strength and as I have said on many occasions the Community Centre is for and owned by the Community of Kilcoole.
KCDA are an umbrella organisation for the community of Kilcoole, similar to the different forum groups that other towns an villages have developed in recent years, we are in existence since the early 2000’s. Over the years we have had a watching brief as Kilcoole developed , we interacted with politicians and WCC in regard to the 2004 and 2009 local area plans. In 2002/2003 we made presentations to WCC in connection with proposed developed of our area when the infamous boom was starting. We also kept a watching brief on the current local area plan for Kilcoole. Our ethos for our community is that it is developed properly and that we do not allow it to be dumped on or treated unfairly. We have made many representations over the years which are a matter of public record. We took on the management of what was then the Parish Centre in 2000. In 2013 the ownership of the entire property including lands and everything on the lands was signed over to the community from The St Laurence O’Toole Trust . We then proceeded to apply for funding to develop the centre into a community centre, and at the same time we applied for funding from the Children’s Dept to add on a Youth Cafe ( total project 287000 euro). The youth group had been moving from premises to premises in the village and had spoken with me in regards to a permanent building. We worked with Bray Youth Services/ Wicklow VEC and made it happen . We are currently reviewing with Bray Youth Services corporate governance etc. The 5th Wicklow scout group are also based on our property.
So we now have a very solid community base , we are all very proud of this achievement. Every thing operates on an inclusive principal.
The board of KCDA is a good cross section of our community with many segments of our community involved directly or in directly. Segments involved are the Community Centre, Youth Cafe, Tidy towns ( which is a sub committee within KCDA), Kaps,( Recent addition of our Playground is an important piece of infrastructure for our community, thanks to the Doyle Family, WCC and KAPS, I worked close with them all) GAA, Business, Heritage, Church, Community. In the year ahead we will ensure any segments not involved are involved should they want to be. The strength of any community is people supporting each other and working together for the overall good of the community.
We ran a very successful EXPO in 2015 with over 30 stands taking part. We are running our second EXPO this year in September and are currently organising and will let you know all as it develops, we also plan to run a second EXPO just for community activity. We are examining ways to get funding to complete the upstairs section of the community centre. Mark Blake designed it so as this could be added on. We have ownership of the domain kilcoole.ie and we plan to have all community activities listed, thanks to James Scott for setting this up. We are completing a proper block wall on the boundary of our property. We are putting up a proper sign to properly market the community centre and all of the activities on our lands. We are putting a seat in the grounds of the property . Some of this is possible because we applied for funding for a village renewal scheme for our village and were successful ( 52000 euro). This funding is also been used to provide walkways in our community, provide seating for both the village and our playground, provide signage which will highlight what our village has to offer to visitors and also to carry out a health check in regard to what we have and should have in our community.
The one disappointment for me in the past twelve months is the sale of the Holy Faith Convent. This property has been in our community for way over a hundred years and it is way beyond disappointing that the nun in charge of the order based in Glasnevin could not agree to ensure the building and surrounding ten acres was organised so as it would remain in community ownership. I wrote to her on three occasions and did not even get the courtesy of an acknowledgement, apart from been disappointing, it is also rude and a real slap in the face to the community. However we have a very strong community and we will keep an eye on developments.
Finally I would like again thank my fellow board members, Mary Keddy, Colette Hunt, Ger Bateman, Declan Green, Sarah Donnelly, John Byrne, John Kinsella, Kathy Hoctor, Mike O’Brien, Mark Blake, for all of their support and hard work during the past year. I also would like to thank Loraine O’Toole, Aidan Smith, James Scott,Joey Hunt, Betty Hunt, Linda White. Our Volunteers Martin Devitt, Donnie Cullen, Maire Ni Shiodhail, Kay Kaminski, David Keddy, Kevin Greene and everyone who helps in any way. A special thanks to our great mentor Jack Smith and to wish him good health and nothing but the best , he has done a lot of work for the community over a long number of years.
We are making great progress, lets keep it going.