01 Dec 2021

Plan to turn old Raheen school into lively community hub

Plan to turn old Raheen school into lively community hub

St Fintans NS in Raheen village, set to become a community centre

An exciting plan has been revealed to the community of Raheen for a new village hub for young and old, with the majority of the money already received in a grant.

St Fintan's National School is a historic building in the centre of Raheen, left mostly idle since the new school Tobar an Léinn opened in 2004. Raheen Community Development plan to restore it as a community centre.

Chairperson Trudy Carmody sees huge potential, and thanked Fr Michael Kelly PP for his support on the project.

“It would be lovely for activities, classes and clubs, like dancing, cooking, parties, computers, crafts, for all ages, children to teens to the elderly. One classroom will become an office with hotdesks as income. The objective is to bring social and business life back to the village, and to develop the skills of the community with classes taught by local qualified individuals,” she said.

The restoration cost is expected to be €120,000. The committee is well on the way, because they were successful in applying for Town & Village Renewal Funding, to the tune of €87,662 for Raheen "Middle School House" project - Phase One.

The 80 percent grant requires the remaining 20 percen, €21,844, to be found locally in an equal mix of cash and work or materials.

“It is a fabulous old three classroom building, the roof is sound but it needs structural repairs including upgrading heating, plumbing and electricity,” she said.

Last Saturday Raheen Community Development held a community information night in Eamon A’Chnoic, to gather local expertise and ideas. Email them to get involved at

A fundraising guided tour of the Rock of Dunamaise will be held on January 28 at 2pm, led by Experiencing Laois. Adults €5, children free. All welcome.

Iceland supermarket is coming to Laois

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