UPDATE 2pm, 23/1/20
Clare County Council has reopened the community room at an Ennis retirement village, following its sudden closure this morning, which caused alarm among residents.
The room at Páirc na Coille is used daily as a café, games room and social club for those living in the village and this morning, the volunteers who operate it received a letter saying it would be closed with immediate effect.
Clare County Council says it has now reopened as the safety issue which resulted in the closure has been addressed.
Statement from Clare County Council
The community room in Pairc na Coille has now reopened as the safety issue which resulted in the closure of the room has been addressed. It was with regret that we took the decision to temporarily close the room; however this decision was necessary to ensure the safety of those using the facility. Our estate management team continue to work with the residents of Pairc na Coille to ensure the facility is available for community use while protecting the interests of all parties.
Shock is being expressed at an Ennis retirement village following the sudden closure of a voluntary community café.
The facility at Páirc na Coille has been described as a lifeline by residents, who received a letter this morning informing them of its immediate closure.
For the past four years, the community room at Páirc na Coille Retirement Village in Ennis has been open daily, acting as a café, social club and games room for the residents.
Every morning, the doors open bright and early and the residents begin to pour in for a cup of tea and a chat, with the evenings seeing them come back for card games and the like.
But today, they’re packing up and moving all of their equipment out after receiving a letter from Clare County Council, saying the use of the room is under review.
Dympna Greene set up the café and volunteers there daily – she says since it was first set up, it’s gone from strength to strength.
The letter, seen by Clare FM, states that the use of the room is currently under review and will be unavailable for use as of this morning until further notice.
Residents say this is the first correspondence they have had in relation to the future of the service.
Chairman of the Residents Association John McGuire has brought a trailer to the community room now to load up their equipment and says they’re shell-shocked by the decision.
Residents and users of the service are still digesting the news this afternoon.
Jim Power, who has lived at Páirc na Coille for the past two and a half years, says the announcement has caused devastation among his friends at the village.
While residents Sheila and Liam say they don’t know what they will do now it’s gone.
Clare FM has contacted Clare County Council for a full statement on the matter.