Newbridge’s only Oireachtas member, Senator Fiona O’Loughlin has expressed her concern that a once in a generation opportunity to secure for the monastery for community purposes is in jeopardy in light of a higher offer being made by another party for the property at Liffey Lodge, Newbridge.
Senator O’Loughlin said “I have been actively involved along with Cllr Noel Heavey and Cllr Rob Power in trying to secure this vital piece of strategic infrastructure for the people of Newbridge. Our young people need a public space that they can call their own, and our local community groups are crying out for facilities”
“I was pleased to see that Kildare County Council raised their bid significantly at the end of October to secure the building. Prior to this I had been working successfully with Minister Mary Butler and 2 state agencies to secure funding to roll out much needed services for the residents of Newbridge and surrounding areas, and which would complement Kildare’s council interest and focus on local delivery. Unfortunately, we have now learned that bidding has exceeded the offer made by the Council- and that concerns me.”
“I am working closely with Newbridge Family Resource Centre, who need to expand beyond their current facility in Dara Park, and I had envisaged them playing a key role in the event of Leinster Lodge being acquired by Kildare County Council, but I fear that this prospect may be slipping away from us”
Fiona concluded “The monastery building has incredible potential for our town. It could so easily become the focal point for much needed community activities, and in particular for our youth. With the 2.7-acre site also having huge potential in terms of outdoor activities- such as a community garden. I am hopeful that the Patrician brothers will be able to look beyond their bottom line, and that the buildings potential to serve the community is realised. As the person who as Mayor, delivered Newbridge town hall for the people of Newbridge, I am acutely aware of the both the uniqueness of this property, and the absolute necessity of it being retained for our Community.