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Opening of St Colmans Training Centre

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St. Colman's Training Centre was officially opened by Eamon O'Cuiv, Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs on Thursday 23rd September 2004.

Reveived F.E.T.A.C. Accreditation 2008.

The following is a Press Release from that time by Paddy Gibbons September 2004:

Thursday Sept 23rd saw the opening of St. Colman's Training Centre, Mayo Abbey by Eamon O'Cuív, Minister for Rural, Community & Gaeltacht Affairs. The minister was accompanied on his visit by John Carty T.D. On arrival they were given a tour of the facility and told of the enormous strides made in the community since the early 90's. There was a very large gathering in the hall for the launch which started with Chairman Jimmy Finn welcoming the minister, distinguished guests and parishioners. He outlined the developments that have taken place over the years which led up to opening of St. Colman's Training Centre. The Management Committee obtained funding from A.I.B. Better Ireland Awards, South West Mayo Leader Company and the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs for eleven computers, ancillary I.T. equipment, a satellite broadband internet connection, all of which are in place and operational. The Management Committee has also obtained FÁS staffing and funding for Computer Courses. The Committee is at present drawing up a programme of courses for the Autumn/Winter in consultation with: the Department of Education (Community Strand), Mayo Vocational Education Committee, Mayo Education Centre, Teagasc, and FÁS. Mr. Finn continued Mayo Abbey Parish Community Council is in operation for the last eleven years and is a voluntary umbrella organisation for the local development and social support committees within the parish of Mayo Abbey through its affiliated sub-committees: Heritage; Housing; Childcare; Emigrants; Youth; Ladies; Social Services/Active Retirement; Tidy Towns; Centre Management; Executive and Finance. Since 1993, the Council and its constituent committees have sponsored and successfully completed many community initiatives. FÁS, under the local leadership of Ger Maguire, runs one of the most efficient and successful FÁS Community Employment Schemes in the County of Mayo.


The Heritage Committee has been successful in attracting grant aid of €130,000 from Mayo County Council for the renovation of St. Colman's 'Famine' Church. In addition a sum of €13,000 has been sanctioned by the Department of the Environment for the same project. The Heritage Committee is finalising plans for the renovation project.

Ger Maguire (Centre Manager) outlined the progression path of the Community Council over the past 10 years. Through a series of before and after slides showed the wide range of projects carried out by all the sub-committees of the Community Council.
Majella Gibbons chairperson of the Childcare Committee outlined the work of the group since 2001. The childcare service which started in 2001 with three children and two fulltime staff now has 28 children with four fulltime and seven part-time staff in temporary accommodation. Plans have been submitted to the Dept of Justice, Equality & Law Reform for a dedicated childcare centre which as well as the present services will include an after-school service.

Fr. Austin Fergus made a presentation of Mayo Crystal to the minister.
In his address Minister O'Cuív said he was delighted to return to Mayo Abbey, which he said was now almost unrecognisable from the Mayo Abbey he visited many years age as Manager of Cornamona Co-op. He described the work done in Mayo Abbey as his dream of what community development should be. He would have no hesitation in sending any group in the country here to see what can be done when community and state work together.

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