A major community regeneration project is progressing in Creeslough to support healing and renewal following last October’s tragic explosion.
Donegal County Councillors today approved works for a proposed community hub for health, wellbeing and social services.
A new community centre, gym, sports field, multi-use games area and recreational track are intended to accommodate civic, cultural, sporting, recreational, social gatherings and events in the village.
The proposed location of the hub is at a community football field and track known locally as ‘the field’ behind St. Michael’s Parish Church, offering views of Muckish mountain.
The site will include a two-story community hub and a community garden and an accessible public realm for rest and play. The outdoor space will incorporate a community play park with a changing places facility and a coffee pavilion. This space will be further enhanced by allotments and a potting shed, walks, landscaping, rest, shelter and a flexible outdoor performance space for smaller events of a musical, theatre or film screening nature.
Office accommodation is also proposed, which is targeted towards the operational and governance model for the site. It is likely that this accommodation will house the Creeslough Community Association and the Community Support Worker position(s) funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development. A small consultation room is provided, which will service health and well being services and cater for continued pro-bono services to the Creeslough community.
The proposed scheme provides for 61 car parking spaces including disabled, age-friendly, EV charging, parent and toddler and additional bus parking.
Sustainability and preservation of local nature, wildlife and heritage are all key elements considered in the design of the hub, which has been done in consultation with the local community since May 2023.
A Donegal County Council team is leading the consultation and planning of the regeneration project on behalf of the Creeslough community.
The Working Group for Creeslough was established by the council in October 2022 to identify development and regeneration projects to support the local community on their journey of healing and renewal after a devastating explosion at a local shop and petrol station took the lives of 10 people on 7th October 2022.
Councillor Michael McClafferty welcomed the proposal going forward at today’s plenary council in Lifford. Speaking on behalf of the people of Creeslough and parish priest Fr John Joe Duffy, Cllr McClafferty passed on a message of gratitude to all the council, councillors and emergency services that have been involved in Creeslough on their unfortunate journey over the last year.
As the one-year anniversary of the tragedy approached, Cathaoirleach Martin Harley, on behalf of the council, said that members’ thoughts and prayers are with the people of Creeslough in the coming weeks and into the future.