This week, it was announced that the Land Development Agency (LDA) is set to be given ownership by the Department of Defence of Columb Barracks, which is at present home to 23 local community groups.
However, the fate of the former Defence Forces complex, steeped in local history, is not at all clear, and there are serious concerns.
The Mullingar community including all those using the empty Barracks for seven or eight years, view it as a hugely valuable asset, capable of becoming a major Mullingar attraction, and they are calling on the authorities to permit them to be consulted before other decisions are made.
“Mullingar and its people need to be fully consulted and involved regarding the future use of the Barracks,” Topic was told.
Columb Barracks Restoration and Regeneration Committee, along with SkillsXChange and the Literacy Group, have been working steadily in the background for the last number of years, and last week, made public their vision statement which would see the Barracks transformed into “a vibrant community-owned and operated centre which will contribute socially, environmentally and educationally to the town.”