Heritage Centre looking to the future

The Abbeyleix Heritage Centre are looking to the future after a “difficult time”, people heard at their AGM last week.

Speaking to the audience, incoming chairman Brian Maher invited them to become more involved with the centre and its activities. The centre is currently preparing a submission for Pobal, and last week gave out a number of surveys throughout the community, to see what is wanted from the centre in the future.

The results from the completed surveys will form part of the centre’s submission as part of their needs analysis and business plan submission to Pobal for the community services programme 2015 - 2017. The centre recently appointed two assistants who are working alongside manager Sinead Marshall. They will soon be joined by an intern funded through the Laois County Council heritage officer Catherine Casey to work on the Abbeyleix Bog project.

“We have a unique resource here in the Abbeyleix Heritage Centre as both a museum and a community resource. We hope to build on solid foundations and refine the range of services that we offer you in collaboration with the various active groups including APEC, ABC, Tidy Towns, Abbeyleix Bog Project, Abbeyleix Women’s Group and the many other groups”.

As well as the incoming chairman’s address, reports were also given by Conal Bradley of Avid Partners auditors, and by Mary White, secretary.

The number of people on the board now stands at 10, after a number of people left and were not replaced. Explaining this, Mr Maher said that a meeting between the centre manager, the previous chairman and Pobal last September resulted in a recommendation from Pobal to “keep the board at a smaller size for good governance”.

From the floor, Mr Andy Ring directed a number of criticisms at the board, which were refuted by board members. The three year business plan must be completed by May 1.




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