Category Archives: Public Meetings

St. Coman’s Church

A public meeting is being held on Monday 14th November 2016, 8pm at the Courthouse to inform Kinvara Community on the current situation of St Coman’s Church, often referred to as Kinvara’s ‘hidden’ church. This meeting will have guest speakers, Marion Coady, St Coman’s Mapping Project, Anne Carey, Archaeologist and John Britton, Civil and Structural Engineer. All persons interested in St Coman’s are invited to attend. Tea & biscuits provided.

Following on from the successful mapping project of St Coman’s by Marian Coady 2004-2007, an updated ‘Structural Conservation Engineering Report’ has been voluntarily prepared by John Britton on behalf of the Community Councils heritage subgroup. This report has highlighted some serious concerns regarding the condition of this medieval ‘hidden’ church and raises issues surrounding its collapse if neglected. A call to attend the public meeting is intended to give everyone a chance to understand the significance of this early medieval church, recollect those buried in the graveyard around its walls and decide if this is worth saving for future generations. Please attend this meeting on Monday 14th November at 8pm, Kinvara Courthouse.

Kinvara’s hilltop church is traditionally identified with St. Coman (or Caimin), a saint who is said to have flourished in the mid-7th century. St. Coman’s Church, Kinvara’s ‘hidden’ church, is closely linked to the history and development of the town and its graveyard contain the graves of at least 53 Kinvara families.

Marian Coady with an earlier group successfully received funding from the Heritage Council in 2005 to map the Graveyard and record the graves.

Over the last 2 years the Community Council has set up a Heritage subgroup to focus on saving St. Coman’s church. John Britton Engineering surveyed and prepared a written report on the present state of the church of St. Coman’s which is a designated Monument with all 4 walls standing but is roofless for hundreds of years.

We have now received John’s report which he spent many hours on voluntarily and which we are indebted to him for.

The report is very detailed and has been read by some of the members of this group. The report states that the East Wall of the church is in immediate danger of collapse.

We would like to get started on putting an application together for a project to conserve this ancient building which apart from its historical and archaeological interest is also of potential economic and tourism value to Kinvara situated as we are on the Wild Atlantic Way.

The Heritage group is a subgroup of Kinvara Community Council and welcomes new members.

Kinvara Residents Concerned at loss of Village Green Space

Recent works at Kinvara Pier to facilitate the installation of holding tanks for the new sewage treatment facility has caused the area to be dramatically altered by the removal of the green area and replacement with a ‘temporary’ tarred over space which is now being used as a car park for coaches. Residents have been told, while it is within the contract of Coffey Construction to reinstate the green, that plans are afoot to change the layout in order to facilitate additional parking facilities for coaches and cars. The current layout is apparently to allow for settlement of ground after the works that have been done to date and it could be left for up to nine months in its current state.

Local residents are very distressed by this development and claim that the proper planning process has been ignored. The quay in Kinvara is an area of great beauty and rustic charm. Few towns in Ireland can boast such a beautiful setting. Furthermore, Kinvara Pier is a Protected Structure under the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and therefore any proposal to alter its surrounds have to be scrutinised with care by both the planning authority and the community to ensure that the character of the area is not damaged.

The residents acknowledge that the issue of the need for a car/bus/coach park in the village is ongoing and increasing with the rise in tourism but argue that parking needs to be planned within a whole village context in a traffic management plan with public consultation. They contend that the traffic problems will not be solved by changing the attractiveness of the quay area to facilitate two-way car, camper van, minibuses and larger coach traffic and a few more parking bays, commenting that the original green acted like a roundabout or traffic island and made traffic slow down thus ensuring safety. It also limited parking and prevented buses from double-parking for drop offs (as has been witnessed in recent weeks). There is a very real worry that leaving the pier in its current state for up to 9 months is creating a precedent that the pier area is suitable for parking buses and cars. As a community, the residents feel that they are being put under pressure to forget about the original

green space and to consider other layouts and are very worried that this precedent will facilitate plans to turn the pier area into an official car park or coach park in the future.

The residents have formed an action group, Save Kinvara Green, to raise awareness about the issue and to call on Galway County Council to engage with the locals about this critical change to the aesthetics of their village. They have gathered over 500 signatures to date on a petition calling for the reinstatement of the green area and will be holding a public information meeting on Weds 17th August at 8 pm in St. Joseph’s primary school hall. All interested parties are welcome to attend and the group urges people who are concerned about the development to come along and let their voices be heard.

https://www.facebook.com/savekinvaragreen/home

Regular Public Meetings

Kinvara Community Council meets on a monthly basis usually on the third Wednesday, but this can change depending on other commitments, in the Community Centre at 8.30pm. All matters relating to the local area are discussed including our local Heritage, our services and Tidy Towns. Other matters can be brought up at the Chairman’s discretion. Our local County Councillor Joe Byrne usually attends. We post our minutes and agenda on our website Kinvara.ie. Please email us at commcenkinvara@gmail.com for further information.