MONAGEA parish hall is once again a hive of activity following a complete refurbishment, undertaken by the local community with the help of grant aid of over €145,000 from West Limerick Resources.
The former primary school has been used as a community facility since the late 1970s but over time had fallen into disrepair. However, recognising the value to the local community, a newly elected committee took it upon themselves to muster local support and breathe new life into the tired old building at the heart of the small West Limerick village.
"Mongea Hall has always been at the heart of the local community, having been originally converted to a community hall with the assistance of FAS and local volunteers in 1978," explained West Limerick Resources Project Officer Eleanor McLoughlin. "The community added an extension to the facility in the '80s however recent severe winters resulted in a lot of water damage and dampness necessitating significant remedial work."
The community approached West Limerick Resources to support a phased redevelopment and was awarded a grant of almost €70,000 in 2011 to repair the roof of the main building and replace the flat roof on the extension. In addition, the facility had internal insulation and new heating and electrical systems installed along with a new timber floor. Having completed this essential structural work, the committee then began to look at phase two of the refurbishment which includes new toilet and kitchen facilities, painting work along with new stage lighting and a state of the art folding stage to maximize space. In 2012 West Limerick Resources awarded the community a second grant of just over €75,000 for this work which is now fully complete.
"The hall has been completely renovated into a modern comfortable facility, thanks to the vision, hard work and support of the Monagea community led by the very hardworking hall committee," says Eleanor. "The committee put a lot of thought into how to make best use of the limited space available and have received huge support from the whole community in their fundraising efforts. A number of functions have been held in the hall over the last few months and everyone has been overwhelmed at the transformation."