Ballyphehane Community Centre celebrates 50th anniversary
Celebrations were held recently in Ballyphehane Community Centre to mark the centre’s fiftieth anniversary, with a large crowd turning out for the event. From humble beginnings fifty years ago Ballyphehane Community Centre has grown to become an integral part of the community for all age groups.
Set up in 1969, the community centre had the remit to operate a community centre for the benefit of the Ballyphehane community and to provide:
• Recreational facilities for the elderly, youth, handicapped and disadvantaged
• Training courses
• Cultural activities
• Meeting rooms for local charitable organisations
Employing a staff of 15, with a volunteer staff of approx. 35, the community centre now offers a wide and diverse service. This include Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care, Bingo, Café, gym, and meeting room facilities. Over 500 people visit the centre on a weekly basis and up to 50 meals are delivered daily in the Ballyphehane and Turners Cross areas.
Cllr. Fergal Dennehy, Deputy Lord Mayor, spoke about the close community ties between Ballyphehane and Togher, and the importance of communities working together. He said “It’s a wonderful community centre with fantastic activities for the young and old. There has been a close collaboration between Ballyphehane and Togher, most prominently felt when Ballyphehane Meals on Wheels assisted the Togher Meals on Wheels service during a period of difficulty’.
Ballyphehane Community Association has played an important role in the local community, supporting a variety of groups including Togher Meals on Wheels, Ballyphehane Togher CDP, Kilreen Celtic, Fr Matthew Basketball, Ballyphehane GAA, Cork Filipino Basketball, Footdreams School of Dance, Forroige, Irish Dancing, Ballyphehane Men’s Shed, Muintir Na Tire, Munster Senior League, Network Bowls, and Rebel Wheeler Basketball.
Chairperson of Ballyphehane Community Centre Carmel Forde commented “I would like to thank all for their hard work in making tonight happen, particularly Mary Casey and the community centre staff. In addition, I would like to acknowledge the Meals on Wheels service down through the years and the current Ballyphehane Community Association team. This would not be possible without the great work of the volunteers, who provide an invaluable support to the operations of the community centre. This is a fantastic centre and we are very proud of it.”
Tom O’Driscoll, ex Ballyphehane Community Association chairperson, spoke about the work conducted by the current and past Ballyphehane Community Associations, and praised their efforts in marking the night. Bob Barry, Meals on Wheels volunteer, recounted the days of starting the Meals on Wheels service over fifty years ago, and how it has transformed and improved to the present day.