Contracts were signed for Cabragh Wetland Trust this week giving final approval for the joint North and South Tipperary Leader grant for the construction of a new two-storey extension and refurbishment to the existing Centre.
Chairman Tom Grace welcomed and thanked representatives from both North Tipperary Leader Partnership and the South Tipperary Development Company for the generous grant that will do so much to underpin the growth of the Trust’s work in conservation and education in the coming decades. He particularly thanked Michael Lowry for his constant, tireless support for the Trust, both in maintaining momentum to gain official approval of the application and in finding local sponsorship.
Tom Grace highlighted the work of three key individuals, without whom this day would never have come. Patrick Killeen, Project Officer for NTLP, has given constant support and expert advice to guide the application through. Architect Donal Ryan produced an exciting and visionary building that will provide the space and flexibility for the multiple challenges facing the Trust. John O’Shaughnessy as Project Manager has given freely of his time and professional expertise to oversee technical details of plans, estimates and costings, ensuring significant savings for Cabragh Wetlands.
For NTLP, Director Charles Stanley-Smith spoke of Leader’s pleasure in being able to help such an important conservation and education group, and of his personal enthusiasm for the Cabragh Wetlands project, recognising the importance of their work which has the potential to reach well beyond the confines of Tipperary. A representative of the STDC highlighted how pleased they were to be involved in the project as part of a cooperative venture between the North and South, emphasizing that Cabragh is at the heart of the soon-to-be united County, with great potential to build links with schools and communities in the south.
Michael Lowry gave his enthusiastic endorsement and congratulations to Cabragh Wetlands Trust, which he said was founded as a unique and beacon project, based on local expertise, community spirit and a willingness to take responsibility for the survival of important and irreplaceable wetlands.
It is hoped that work will start on the new extension in January, with the project due for completion in September.