Our story is a really wonderful story to tell, a Centre built by the community for the community, providing space for an active, connected and vibrant locality.
Clonmany Community Centre is the vibrant heart of our local community. It has been transformed into a space where members of all generations within the community can come together to meet, share, learn and receive help and support if needed. Our Centre works with all sectors of the community including children and young people, adults and older people and the wider Inishowen community helping to develop a more sustainable community and in turn help reduce inequalities through prevention and early intervention. We have developed a state of the art traditional craft training centre promoting local crafting techniques and offering local crafters a dedicated work space to develop their own craft businesses. Our community is at the heart of everything we do and thus the Centre’s impact on the local people and the wider community has been far-reaching.
Founded in 1989, St Brigid’s Youth Club as it was then known was a direct response by local parents to the lack of social and sporting opportunities available to young people in the area. The success of the club was evident within a few short months of its beginning when it had amassed a membership of some 315 young people.
A wide range of activities was on offer including all the usual indoor games and sport. The Youth Club continued at this level of success until it’s rental facility, the local Parochial Hall, underwent a series of renovations forcing a reduction in the range of Youth Club activities on offer. Paradoxically it was this period of reduced activity that really sparked the Youth Club committee into action and with careful consideration it was decided that a purpose built centre would be the best development option.
At this point in the time the adult population in the community also started to look for activities – at first it was an interest in sporting activities but very soon members of the community started to seek educational opportunities and development opportunities. After visiting many youth clubs and community centres in Donegal, Derry and wider afield, it was decided that the building would have to be purpose built to serve all the identified needs in the community.
A programme of fundraising had already begun, with donations being received from other local organisations and clubs in support. How best to move forward, was the question begging at every committee meeting. Before long, a public meeting was held with all of the local community invited. A large crowd gathered and serious input was made by a large proportion of those who attended. As a result, plans were drawn up and the decision that faced the committee was where to build. Land would have to be purchased. It was at this time that the local festival committee stepped in and very kindly offered a section of their land to the youth club and it was there that the growth from youth club to community centre truly began.
Building began with a very substantial voluntary contribution from members of the community clearing the area and really getting involved. Groups of young people and qualified builders were assigned to the job as they were participants in a community youth training programme with FÁS. This group of young people went on to complete the building under the supervision of the highly skilled local tradesmen.
Clonmany Community Centre as it stands today was finally officially opened to the public on the 8th of October 1999 by Dr. James Mc Daid.