Taoiseach makes a visit to Kilanerin
Kilanerin was a hive of activity last Sunday as Taoiseach Leo Varadkar paid a visit to officially open the new all-weather GAA pitch and phase two of the community centre.
More than 800 people turned out to give Mr Varadkar a warm welcome to the Kilanerin/Ballyfad GAA grounds, where he opened the all-weather pitch, the hurling wall and walking track, with a helping hand from Minister Michael D'Arcy and Minister Paul Kehoe.
The Taoiseach, looking fresh faced from his trip to the West Coast of America where he rubbed shoulders with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, first called in to Kilanerin National School, where he was treated to a tour by principal Geraldine Carmody of the latest extension of two classrooms and a reception area.
From there it was on to the community centre, where he officially opened phase two of the building.
Enda Kavanagh, PRO for the Community Centre Development Association, explained phase two includes a lobby area and a coffee dock, changing rooms with shower facilities, meeting rooms and a new gym.
'Our gym is now opened and fully equipped. The Taoiseach was the very first to sign up for gym membership,' said Enda.
One of those sharing in the delight of the culmination of years of hard work was Minister D'Arcy, who said he could not believe how full the centre was and 'it was something he has never seen before'.
Adding to the words of congratulations from the Taoiseach was Wexford County Council chairman Cllr John Hegarty, Minister Michael D'Arcy, who is also chairman of Kilanerin/Ballyfad GAA, Fr Denis Browne, and chairman for Community Centre Development Association Jason Last.
The organising committee were presented with framed paintings of local landmarks by Pat Hempenstall.
The Taoiseach made a special presentation of the painting to Peter O'Connor, who has been the driving force behind the work of the community centre for the last 15 years. The Taoiseach himself was presented with a copy of the painting by Pat.
Underage footballer James Forde, Matty Forde's nephew, presented Mr Varadkar with a Kilanerin/Ballyfad jersey, something he can use on his visits to the gym. Enda said the day was a community effort and 'it goes to show how much work is done in Kilanerin/Ballyfad.'