Rockchapel Community Centre

In 1981 the general consensus of opinion among most people in the parish was that Rockchapel needed a community centre. The late Fr. James McCarthy called a meeting of parishioners which was held in the Youth Centre, a small prefabricated building near the monument on Oct 12th. Approximately thirty people attended the meeting and a committee was formed on the night. Fr. McCarthy who was the driving force behind the project was elected President and the following were the other officers

Chairperson Paddy Carroll
Vice Chairperson Timmy Twomey
Secretary Eily Guiney
Assistant Secretary Ned Curtin (RIP)
Treasurer Jerry O Mahony
Assistant Treasurer Donal Murphy

Initially a suitable site had to be provided. A few different sites were looked at but it was decided to approach the Southern Health Board who had already procured a site for a health clinic at the western end of the village. An agreement was reached with the board to allow the community centre to be built on the site which would also incorporate a health clinic.

A major fundraising drive was started in the parish. Most householders donated towards the project and many gave an interest free loan which would be repaid in five to seven years.

Various fundraising activities were organised, including a weekly card game in the school, hunting the wren, hunting the Biddy, selling Christmas trees, sale of work, raffles etc. More than forty people attended the next meetings as there was great enthusiasm towards the new project. A grant of £25,000 was received from the Department of Education and Sport.

Plans were drawn up and planning permission was granted. Goggin and Buckley were contracted and work commenced in April. This was tremendous progress in a relatively short time. Work and fundraising continued and the centre was officially opened in August 1983 by Fr. McCarthy. Also present were the late Fr. Ryan P.P., the local politicians and very many people from the parish who felt very proud at having a beautiful community centre.

The community centre has been a focal point in the parish ever since and is used extensively by many organisations. Shortly after its completion the various organisations set about putting it to good use.

The G.A.A. used it a couple of nights a week during the winter months for football training while the juveniles played indoor soccer earlier. Young people also played basketball on Sunday afternoons. Music classes were held for young people on Friday evenings.

A few people who had previously played badminton set up a club which very soon had become quite active. About twenty adults played the game two nights a week and juveniles were coached in the basics of the game on Friday evenings by Timmy Twomey. After a few years teams were organised, these became very successful at local, county and all Ireland level. Having such a find badminton court, Rockchapel was the envy of many larger clubs in North Cork.

Upstairs contained a balcony and kitchen. While waiting to play badminton on Friday evenings juveniles played pool and table tennis on the balcony. The kitchen which contained a cooker, sink and presses became a multipurpose room. It was mainly used for meetings and classes by all the local organisations.

Another important function of the community centre is its use as a venue where refreshments are provided after funerals in the local cemetery. A group of local ladies provide teas and refreshments to people who wish to meet the bereaved family in a comfortable surrounding.

In recent years major refurbishing work has been done in the centre. The balcony has been closed in to create a large room for meetings and classes.

At the moment a weekly card game is held every Wednesday night, an Easter raffle and an annual American Tea Party which help to raise funds to run the centre.

A fantastic parish facility at the western end of our village.