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Lenaboy Castle to Become Children's Creative Hub

Sep 12, 2017

TRANSFER OF FORMER ORPHANGE FROM SISTERS OF MERCY TO GALWAY CITY COUNCIL AGREED

An agreement to transfer ownership of the former St. Anne's Children's Home at Taylor's Hill, Galway from the Sisters of Mercy to Galway City Council was announced at the monthly meeting of the Council in City Hall, Galway on Monday (11th September.) The members of the council were informed the transfer by the Sisters of Mercy, which also includes a cash payment, will facilitate the creation of a Children's Creative Hub.

Over the last number of years, Galway City Council has been in discussion with the Sisters of Mercy, Western Province about the possible future use of Lenaboy Castle in Taylor's Hill. Elected Members were informed that a 'Heads of Agreement' is currently being finalised between the Sisters of Mercy and Galway City Council to transfer ownership of Lenaboy Castle and part of the lands at Taylor's Hill/ Rosary Lane to Galway City Council. This building, on lands between Taylor's Hill and Rosary Lane, had previously been used variously as an orphanage, a children's home and a social care centre for children and adolescents under the name 'St. Anne's' by the Sisters of Mercy and latterly by the Western Health Board/HSE West. In addition, the Sisters of Mercy will transfer a payment of €750,000.00 to City Council for the purposes of renovation and development of the property.

It is Galway City Council's intention to take on Lenaboy Castle and to develop it as a Children and Young People's Creative and Cultural Hub which will support, nurture and encourage the creation of cultural and artistic work with and for children and young people.

Considering the history of the building, particularly through most of the 20th Century, it is considered by both the Sisters of Mercy and Galway City Council more than fitting and appropriate that Lenaboy Castle will become a hub to nurture, support and involve children and young people in the expression of their imaginations and dreams. The Chief Executive, Brendan McGrath, has had preliminary discussions with a number of organisations including Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, Branar, Téatar do Pháistí, Galway Community Circus and others working in the realm of children's creativity and culture about possible involvement in the delivery of a Children's Creative Hub at Lenaboy castle. All have been enthusiastically supportive of the proposed development.

Speaking about the development, Brendan McGrath said, " This is a significant, positive development. It advances Galway's ambition as a sustainable, cultural force; it recognises the place of children at the heart of our development as a city and will meet the needs of children and young people to have supportive, imaginative, nurturing experiences in a creative space."