New lease of life for one of town’s finest buildings

THOSE driving or walking along the Queen Elizabeth Road in Enniskillen may have noticed a distinguished Edwardian era building which has for years been hidden away behind overgrown bushes and trees.
The Enniskillen Parish Community Centre, which had deteriorated over the years was practically invisible behind the ageing, evergreen trees and burgeoning shrubbery on the river bank. Recently, St Michael’s Parish completed extensive work around the grounds of the site and the community centre to modernise and refurbish the building. 
New parking was developed above the river bank with stone-filled wire cages put in place on the river bank to give a firm foundation to create a 27 space car park. 
Describing the work, Monsignor Peter O’Reilly of St Michael’s Parish explained, “Inside the community centre, the floor in the main hall was found to be still in good condition and so was sanded, stained and resealed. The interior was repainted and a new kitchen was fitted to facilitate hospitality. 
“A lot of work has been done to the exterior including the roof cleaned, the windows repaired, the walls repainted and the car park resurfaced.”
The community centre is steeped in local history having originally opened in 1903 as a secondary school for boys run by the Presentation Brothers. The building remained in use as a school until the end of the 1950s, when the new arrangements for the present St Michael’s College and St Joseph’s College were in place. Enniskillen Parish refurbished the building interior and it reopened in 1965 for community use, and became a place for socialising and used by local clubs. 
Today, the centre continues to be used by dozens of local groups, and Monsignor Peter O’Reilly explained there is hope that ‘more can be done over time.’ “We hope that the work that is going on at  our parish buildings, including the Community Centre, will mean that we will be able to develop what has been handed down the generations to us. The strapline on our weekly Parish Messenger says: Building Faith, Friendship, Community. We believe and hope that this refurbishment will contribute to these goals,” said Monsignor O’Reilly. 

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA