In-debt parish to sell off hall.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

KILCOO parish remains in debt and the parish is considering selling off some of its assets, writes Laura Barr.

A consultation process has been set up to help decide the future of the parochial house and neighbouring St Malachy's Hall.

Fr Denis McKinlay delivered news of the consultation to parishioners earlier this month.

"There is still an overwhelming debt attached to the parish and in all honesty, the weekly collection is just about covering the interest on the loan. A loan, which does not come from banks, but which is money provided to Kilcoo from various parishes in the diocese," he said.

"We have an obligation to pay that money back, but it is proving exceptionally difficult."

Fr McKinlay said the parochial house has major damp issues and is a "potential health hazard to those who occupy it".

Meanwhile, Kilcoo Community Association made an application to the trustees of the diocese to take a lease of the hall but this was not considered a practical proposition on the basis that the building is "presently unfit for licence or lease".

Martin McClelland says local people are very keen to form a committee to try and keep the hall and that the news from Fr McKinlay has "shocked the community".

Full story on page four County Down Outlook Newspaper


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