Mr. Alan Kelly, TD, Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (27 October, 2015) announced that his Department and Kildare County Council are jointly providing funding of €1.39 million for the purchase of the Dominican church and grounds in Athy, Co. Kildare from the Dominican Order.
It is intended to convert the Dominican church into a library and build social housing on the site, as well as develop the site into an amenity park. It is envisaged that up to €8 million will be invested in developing the site over the next decade. The site offers excellent size and scope for a multi-purpose community facility.
Kildare County Council stated this morning that the site is the most appropriate site in Athy for a multi-purpose community facility and emphasised that the development of a new library is a priority for Kildare County Council and, as well as acting as a library, the new site will serve as an important community and cultural hub for the town and its hinterland.
Minister Kelly has told the community in Athy that he is delighted his Department has been in a position to support the purchase of the strategic site in Athy, Co. Kildare. The proposal to develop this site as an integrated community facility is unique and the development of a public amenity, social housing units and a public library on such a significant local landmark will add greatly to the quality of the life of those who live in Athy. The development of this site also presents opportunities for the expansion of the Heritage Centre and Museum in Emily Square in Athy.
The sites close proximity to both the River Barrow and the Grand Canal provides a really exciting opportunity to develop the site as a hub on the Barrow Blueway. I look forward to the many exciting opportunities; community, tourism and cultural that will emerge from the development of the entire site.