€250,000 spent in

A quarter of a million has been spent in Rathdowney on

A quarter of a million has been spent in Rathdowney on

lighting, insulation, heating and energy upgrades.

Many houses and community facilities have received the upgrades over the past year as part of a project initiated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

The project, which cost €250,000, provided 22 houses in Cuan Bhride with new stoves and insulation.

Scoil Bhride were funded to install solar panels, while St Bernadettes Hall in Errill got new insulation and energy saving light fittings.

New insulation was funded for the exterior of Marian Hall, and the old convent school was installed with energy saving light fittings.

The SEAI provided 50 percent of the funding, and Dawn Meats, whose Meadow Meats factory is located in Rathdowney, also supported the project by providing 30 percent.

A total of €50,000 was given by the community of Rathdowney itself.

Local councillor John King said that it was a welcomed boost to the town of Rathdowney.

“We are very grateful for the project here in Rathdowney. It’s a welcomed gift, and we do appreciate it,” he told the Leinster Express.

Plans for a youth café are now underway in the old convent school, which already facilitates a creche and Rathdowney Men’s Shed.

Rathdowney Vision Group applied for the development earlier this year, which will benefit teenagers and young adults between the ages of 12-25.

“We applied to Pobal in 2013 for funding for a youth cafe, and we got €50,000 for the development.

“Renovation work is hoped to be underway in September, to have the youth cafe open by early 2015,” Mr King said.

The project is under the guidance of youth officers in Laois and the bordering counties of Kildare and Offaly.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland was established in 2002 as Ireland’s national energy authority under the Sustainable Energy Act.

SEAI’s mission is to play a leading role in transforming Ireland into a society based on sustainable energy structures, technologies and practices.