Granagh Development Association
The building that is now Granagh Community Centre was originally a National School. Built in 1868 with the help of a grant from the British Government during the reign of Queen Victoria. It would go on to serve the community for the next hundred years until St Joseph’s NS opened its doors in 1967. On the opening of the new school Canon Lyons invited, Ned Sheehy, Ned Chawke & Fr. Denis Browne to become Trustees of the vacated building with a view to develop and maintain it as a Social Centre.
A parish committee was set up to convert the school to a community centre. It was not going to be an easy task. A lot of manual work and voluntary labour saw the revamped Hall open its doors on 8th Dec 1969.
The first officers - Chairman;- Ned Chawke.
Secretary;- Sean McMahon. Treasurer;- Jim Noonan.
During that era we also had the following officers: -
Chairman - Ned Sheehy.
Secretaries; Brid Shine & Brid O’Donoghue.
Treasurer; Tom Sexton.
The list of volunteers is drawn from notes held by Brid Shine, a former Secretary.
It refers to the period pre 1990, though many of them continued for long afterwards.
Some of them served as Officers for lengthy periods, apologies to anyone we may have missed.
In addition to the Trustees we had - Jim Noonan, Sean McMahon, Sean Cagney, Tony O’Connor, Cyril Dore, Jackie Dillon, Connie Carey, Gerry O’Brien, Dan Monckton, Martin Carroll, Mike Hourigan, Paddy Power, Tom Sexton, Jimmy O’Carroll, Jimmy O’Gorman, Tommy Lyons, Paddy Noonan, Joe O’Brien, Tommy O’Gorman, Michael Daffy, Willie Cagney, John Chawke, Jimmy Chawke, John O’Riordan, Dan Sheehan, Jim Kelly, Joe Kelly, Mike Chawke, Maurice Sheehy, Richard Chawke & Seamus O’Brien.
Fr. Browne left early in the project, his successor Fr. Muiris O’Connor became involved as did Fr. Francis Casey, Fr. Tim O’Leary & others.
It is worth noting that the old school also served as a venue for interesting gatherings that led to formation of many a great organisation.
Some still here today, other’s, long since gone such as the local Land league branch in the 1870s,
Granagh Co-op 1891, The Granagh Davitt’s GAA , Home Rule and National Volunteers branches 1900s .
Through the troubled times from 1916 to the formation of the new state the people of Granagh would have met here to deal with the issues of the day.
The local Fine Gael and Fianna Fail cumann are resident since the 1930s.
The Local Defence Force assembled there in the 1940s to defend the Parish in case Hitler invaded.
Muintir na Tire were formed there in the 1950’s and the Group water Scheme in the 1960’s.
1973: The inaugural meeting of Granagh ICA was held in Nov 1973.
Drama and Light Entertainmet took centre stage in Granagh Hall in the late 60’s into the 70’s and 80’s with the formation of the local Macra na Feirme.
The very successful Granagh Camogie Club got together in 1976 and the Soccer club kicked off in the hall in 1991.
Granagh Development Association was established in September 2003 by a group of interested parishioners, many of them ex Macra members plus Card Committee members.
Later, (2010) they successfully transferred the ownership of the hall from the Church Trustees to the Dev. Association Trustees.
~~ It’s aims were the upkeep of the Community Centre and surrounds and to have it available for parishioners and the wider community, to use for the benefit of the whole community.
Since its foundation, the GDA has achieved many things on behalf of the Granagh Community. Most notably:
• 2003: Our first fundraiser and parish event – Monster Jumble Sale.
• 2004: Provided Hall free of charge to newly set up Youth Club - 2009.
Arranged several classes - Computer, Gardening, Exercise, Nutrition, Dance etc
Arranged Flower and Cooking Demonstrations.
• 2007: Set up monthly Afternoon Tea Dancing ( ended in 2016)
Instrumental in the foundation of Granagh Players, 2008.
• Jan 2008 - Granagh Players' first production, ' Sive' by Mary Liston
• Jan 2009 - Gr. Players - 'Poor Beast in the Rain' produced by Jimmy Sheehy.
• Jan 2010 - G. Players - 'The Field' produced by Mary Liston.
2010 - Committee began work on tracing deeds of hall and transferring ownership from original Trustees to the Dev. Assoc.
• 2011: Facilitated Youth Drama & Dance Camp.
2011 - G. Players - 'The Shaughraun' produced by J. Sheehy.
• 2012 - G. Players - 'Tarry Flynn' produced by Jimmy Sheehy.
• 2013 - G. Players - 'London Assurance ' produced by J. Sheehy.
Hosted visitors for Cagney/Noonan Reunion during the Gathering, 2013.
• 2014 - G. Players - 'The Honey Spike' produced by J. Sheehy.
Assisted in outdoor fundraiser for Kilpeacon Church Renovation Fund on the grounds of Lady Harrington’s home, 2012 & ,2014.
Added Wheelchair Accessible Toilet off main Hall & En-suite Toilet in changing Room, for Drama Cast.
2014 - Slabbed & plastered over old timber ceilings in main Hall. Main floor, cleaned and varnished.
Set up ' Community Text Alert ' system in the parish.
Main refurbishment of Community Centre 2013/14 – New doors, internal & external. Wheelchair Toilet tiled. Kitchen tiled. New lighting, internal & external. Insulated roof. New timber ceilings in rooms. Men’s toilet – new urinal and re-tiling. Fitting of extractor fans in main hall. New stage curtain. Car park resurfaced, tarmacadam. Extra gas heaters. Fuse boards replaced. Generator changeover switch installed.
2014. Refaced the old stone Wall, opposite Church.
2014 - Presentations to Sean Cagney & Mick Houlihan for their dedicated service to the community and the GDA..
2014 - Held Launch of Team Dave Riordan, Malin to Mizen Cycle for Liskennett Autism Centre.
Owen Daffy Fundraiser:
Honoured Water Group Members at Granagh Players presentation night.
• In 2015, the GDA engaged with Ballyhoura Development Association to develop a 5- year- plan for Granagh Community. This process involved several public meetings where interested community members came together to decide how to plan for the future of the community.
2015 – ****Granagh Parish Web site set-up. **** Designed by Niamh O’Hanlon.
2015 - G. Players - 'The Buds of Ballybunion' produced by Jim Chawke.
• 2016 - Facilitated Granagh Pebbles After Schools service by renting Natalie the Back Room, in the Hall.
Hosted – The History of Granagh Creamery. A presentation by Jim Houlihan with invited guests.
2016 - G. Players - 'Second Honeymoon' produced by Jim Chawke.
2016 - Co-operated/facilitated the 1916 celebrations, commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Rising. Dvd made.
Honoured Mary Liston, at G. Players Celebration, for - forming the first Macra branch in Granagh, producing the many Macra Light Entertainment & Drama shows and fostering the development of the youth in the parish during those years. Also, for producing the first Play in Granagh in 2008 which led to the formation of the very successful Granagh Players.
ept 2017: - 9th Sept - Commemoration to the Memory of the Granagh Volunteers.
2017 - G. Players - 'The Hostage' produced by Jimmy Sheehy.
2017 - ‘ The Big Jim ‘ Fundraising Tractor Run.
• In 2018, awards night hosted for the National Schools' All Ireland Aviva soccer team.
In 2018 applied to LEADER for grant towards – replacement of main floor in Hall, floor in meeting room and floor in changing room. Also improve insulation in front wall of Hall.
2018 - G. Players - 'The Chastitute' produced by J. Sheehy.
Assisted in outdoor fundraiser for Kilpeacon Church Renovation Fund on the grounds of Lady Harrington’s Home, 2018 & 2019.
In 2018 we also applied for LEADER funding for a 14-Bay car park on the Liskennett road and improvements to the walkway up to Liskennett Wood.
5th Sept ‘18: Hosted a Reception for the Liam McCarthy All Ireland Cup.
10th Sept: Hall Closed - Main Floor & 2 meeting room floors being replaced.
11th Jan 2019: Hosted ICA tribute/Film history by Jim Houlihan.
• 2019 - G. Players - ‘ The Informer’ produced by Jimmy Sheehy.
23rd June, 2019: Supplied teas etc for Lady Harrington’s Garden Walk.
7th July: Hosted Camogie Annual Walk.
14th July: Hosted ‘ Pink for Peggy’ Fundraiser.
Funeral Receptions for Peggy Treacy, Jim Lynch & Peggy Tierney.
26th Oct; Pat Gubbins presentation, as Granagh Cry Closes.
30th Nov. Full Moon Theatre Group present " The Colleen Bawn ".
7th Dec: ' The Hall ' - 50yrs a Growing; A night to mark the 50th anniversary of our Hall - with Photographic Exhibition & talk by Jim Chawke.
2020: Granagh Players present '' The Government Inspector '' - producer Jimmy Sheehy.
FEB 2020 - Covid-19 Pandemic, all Public Buildings closing.
Shane Twomey, Eileen Sheehan