It is with deep disappointment that we, the Ballycanew Ballyoughter Community Development Association, address the recent decision by the Parish Council to reject the opportunity to invest €500,000 in the development of a Multi-Purpose Community Building and Recreational Park in the heart of Ballycanew Village.
For nearly a decade, our dedicated association has tirelessly strived to meet the pressing need for a Community Center and Play area in our parish. Eight years ago, we conducted a thorough survey of the community to understand the needs and expectations of our residents. It has been our unwavering commitment to ensure that the true voice of our community is represented in every aspect of our efforts. This year, we were on the verge of realizing our dream, aiming to fulfill all the requirements outlined in the community survey within a remarkably short timeframe, which is a feat few other villages can claim.
Regrettably, our progress has been impeded due to the actions of the Parish Council. Despite the considerable support from the Wexford County Council and Cllr Pip Breen and local Ballyoughter councilor Diarmuid Deveraux, who placed Ballycanew at the forefront of development in Wexford, we find ourselves in a disheartening situation. Site visits were conducted, valuations were carried out, and while we understand that valuations often differ, the Local Council chose to rely on the Parish Council’s valuation, which met the required price.
The Parish Council decision to reject the offer obstructs the much-needed investment of half a million euros into the heart of Ballycanew Village. Over the weekend, our Development Association repeatedly attempted to reach out to the Parish Council to schedule a meeting. We were determined to address any concerns they might have and to emphasize that this Greenfield site would remain in community ownership, as stipulated in our Constitution. We, as the Development Association, are merely the custodians of these resources, holding them in trust for the community.
Unfortunately, further attempts to meet to appeal the decision were unsuccessful. Regrettably, we must now announce that the much-anticipated funding of €500,000 for Ballycanew will not come to fruition and will be directed toward another village. This decision not only deprives our community of essential facilities but also the potential economic benefits that could have flowed into local businesses.
Our local schoolchildren will continue to lack a playground, an indoor basketball court, or a tennis court to enjoy. Our parents will need to continue driving to Gorey and paying gym memberships that could have been spent within our local economy. Those Christmas concerts, which could have been hosted locally, will remain in Gorey. The list goes on.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the members of the Development Association, both past and present, who have dedicated their time and effort to better our community. To see the aspirations of this community held hostage by the actions of a few individuals is a devastating blow to all of us.
We understand that such decisions carry far-reaching consequences, and we implore the Parish Council to reconsider their position in the best interests of our community and its future generations. It is our hope that we can continue our mission to enhance the well-being of our village, and we remain open to dialogue and collaboration to make this vision a reality for Ballycanew.