Three more halls launch after refurbishment programmes
08 November 2011
Three more halls have recently re-opened their doors after completing a programme of refurbishment works. Parish of Kilwaughter & Cairncastle with All Saints, Craigyhill in Larne, Curran Hall Development Association near Magherafelt and St. John’s Parish Church in Mullabrack received financial assistance through the Maximising Community Space Crossing Borders Programme, which is funded by the International Fund for Ireland (IFI) and managed by the Rural Development Council (RDC). The programme is designed to increase the capacity of groups managing community halls, encourage wider usage of existing facilities and foster good relations.
A special celebration and service of dedication for the renovated All Saints’ Church Hall in Larne was held recently. There was a large turnout with guests including the Deputy Mayor Cllr. Michael Lynch, representatives from the IFI and RDC and community group leaders who were treated to performances from two local school choirs – Linn Primary and St. Anthony’s. Archdeacon Stephen Forde led the act of dedication and Fr. John Burns (St. Anthony’s Parish) also offered words of encouragement before presenting the group with a generous gift.
Curran Masonic Hall was next to re-open their doors. Speaking at the launch, Cllr Jackie Crawford stated ‘I am delighted that funds made available has allowed the group to bring the hall up to modern standards and offer a range of programmes and facilities to the wider community.’ Works to the hall included installation of new toilet and kitchen facilities, provision of disabled access, re-plastering and upgrading of electrics.
The third hall to launch was St. John’s Parish Church Minor Hall in Mullabrack, Co. Armagh. A large congregation filled the Church for the Harvest Service, which was followed by the opening of the hall by the Mayor of Armagh City and District, Cllr. Freda Donnelly. The hall underwent complete internal refurbishments, with re-plastering, the installation of new toilet and kitchen facilities, new heating system together with re-wiring and plumbing. Rev. Neville Hughes noted ‘It was a truly wonderful occasion. The Parishioners are delighted with the high standard of workmanship. Programmes for the use of the hall have already been developed and all of the events are open to the public.’
Works are currently underway in a further 25 halls funded through this Programme in Northern Ireland and the Border Counties.