November 7, 2022
“Community Spaces at Mullingar’s Columb Barracks must be protected” – Chris MacManus MEP

“Community Spaces at Mullingar’s Columb Barracks must be protected” – Chris MacManus MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has said the community spaces at Columb Barracks must be protected as part of the Land Development Agency’s regeneration of the site. The Midlands Northwest representative was speaking after meeting with Helen Donnelly from the Columb Barracks Restoration and Regeneration Committee alongside his Sinn Féin colleagues Sorca Clarke TD, Julie McCourt and David Jones at Columb Barracks.

MEP MacManus said:
“I was pleased to visit Columb Barracks in Mullingar recently with my Sinn Féin colleagues Sorca Clarke TD, Julie McCourt and David Jones. I would like to thank Helen Donnelly from the CBRRC for taking the time to show us around and update on us on the current situation at the site.”

“We visited a number of the community groups on site who all provide a fantastic service to the local community. The lack of a community centre in Mullingar means that the Barracks is undoubtedly the main community space in the town and local people want to see the Barracks serving the community and it’s needs.”

“It is vital that these community spaces are protected and that the groups there are an integral part of the LDA’s regeneration of the site. The LDA must take on board the views of these groups and the local community when deciding on the next steps with the regeneration project.”

“At present the groups using Columb Barracks do not have any formal relationship with the Department of Defence, who are owners of the site. This prevents them and the CBRRC from realising their vision for the site, such as renewable energy generation, establishing a social enterprise or cooperative and developing a training centre on site. It further highlights the need for the LDA to recognise that these groups are key to any future regeneration.”

The Midlands Northwest MEP concluded by pledging his party’s ongoing commitment to the protection of such groups. “The work of community and voluntary groups is vital for addressing social exclusion and poverty. Rest assured Sinn Féin will be working to ensure that the excellent service provided by the groups at Columb Barracks continues long into the future.” ENDS
See attached photo from Columb Barracks of (L-R): Sorca Clarke TD, Julie McCourt, David Jones, Helen Donnelly and Chris MacManus MEP

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