THE newly refurbished St Joseph’s Parish Centre in Dunloy has been officially re-opened.
Speaking on behalf of Dunloy Development Partnership, chairperson John McLaughlin welcomed many guests and parishioners to the blessing and re-opening of the refurbished centre.
Among the special guests were Nigel McFadden from the Department of Agri and Rural Development, Cllr James Currie – Joint Council Committee Chairman; Alderman Roy Beggs – Local Action Group Chairman; Andrew McAlister – Programme Manager; Catrina McNeill – Project Officer; Nicola Murray – Claims Officer; John Dobbin, Director of DB Building Contracts Ltd; Fr Brankin, Parish Priest; Joseph Brogan, retired Sacristan and Caretaker; Catriona Dooey secretary of Dunloy Development Partnership; Jonathon McCamphill, Vice Chairperson of Dunloy Development Partnership.
Back in 2011, Fr Brankin invited the community to attend a meeting to see what could be done to make the hall more suitable to meet the needs of the parish today and to build upon the legacy left by Fr Mullan and his band of volunteers back in 1970.
And to recognise their achievements 43 years ago, it was decided to name the Dining Hall as the “The Fr Mullan Suite”.
At that initial meeting it was decided to set up Dunloy Development Partnership as the organisation responsible for delivering and managing the project which would consist of renovating the existing hall with the addition of an annex to provide multi functional spaces under one roof.
The first major milestone was achieved when the group received notification that the North East Region Joint Council Committee had approved an application for grant aid to the value of £250,000 provided through the European Agricultural fund for rural development.
Mr McLaughlin also paid tribute to the project designers contractors Knox and Clayton of Lisburn and DB Building Contractors Ltd as well as Dowds Group, Martin Mechanical, Dooeys and FSP.
Thanks were expressed to everyone who made financial or practical donations.
Mr McLaughlin then explained that it was highly fitting that the parish sacristan Josy Brogan who had looked after the parish so well for 43 years should be invited to unveil a plaque to officialy re-open the centre while Fr Aidan Brankin blessed the centre.