The initial reaction to the Facebook post last Monday was highly positive…
With their 1782 Darraghville home, and the surrounding 40 acres of lush land, having recently been put up for sale by the Holy Faith Sisters, the future was looking far from bright for Kilcoole’s spirituality centre, Luisne.
Which is why Sister Miriam, Sister Barbara and the rest of the Luisne gang were pretty excited when a group of ‘project development professionals‘ approached them with their plans, should they manage to buy the property. Included in these plans was the retention of Darraghville as a ‘community-based’ entity, plus the landscaping of open spaces out front (including a children’s playground) and beside the main house’s neighbouring school.
Also included in the plan is the rezoning of the land for ‘substantial residential development’, which ‘may include an element of sheltered housing adjacent to the main house and community elements‘, with those housing elements to include more landscaped open spaces, this time ‘linked to a linear path running along the river at the eastern end‘. There would also be a new link road, ‘forming the first part of a Kilcoole Main Street bypass‘.
All of which may explain why that initial highly positive reaction to Monday’s Facebook post was quickly tempered with a large degree of skepticism and suspicion. You can read the full statement from the Darraghville Project Parternship below, but some of the reactions included Justin Ivory stating, ‘I was reading this with an open mind until I read the line ‘much needed housing in Kilcoole‘. it is the unchallenged pedaling of such nonsense statements that is destroying our beautiful Garden County with unsustainable development‘. Bernie Adufe D’Arcy dismissed the press release as ‘subtle brainwashing’, designed to ‘destroy the garden county’.
For Fred Roundtree, the ‘may’ include an element of sheltered housing needed to be ‘a priority rather than a vague possibility‘, whilst Roisin O’Toole went full poetic with ‘Far too vague for my liking… icing on the cake seems sweet.. but what is the cake underneath made of?‘.
With reportedly over 60 bidders sniffing aroundLuisne, perhaps this is a simple case of, better the devil you know. Imagine if those about to be evicted at Carraig Eden were approached by a group who were keen to buy the old Greystones landmark but let the good work there continue…?
We thought it best to go over to Luisne and talk to Michele Ryan, chairperson of the Luisne Foundation, to find out if their possible saviours are sinners or saints…
You can check out Luisne’s summer program here. In the meantime, here’s that original Facebook post…
WHO WE ARE
Darraghville Project Partnership (DPP) is a committed group of project development professionals working together with an investment team who recognise the potential of Holy Faith Convent and Lands for the creation of a project that will serve both community needs and expectations, and aim to provide much needed housing in the Kilcoole area.
DPP includes a professional team who are experienced in the delivery of such projects and include individuals with a proven track record of working in the local communities of Greystones and Kilcoole.
WHAT IS OUR VISION
DPP has a holistic vision for these lands that will create a significant contribution to the Town of Kilcoole. DPP foresee a development that will include delivering the following “not for profit” components and passing them to the appropriate groups for use in the Community:
• The main house will be refurbished and will be handed over to an appropriate community based entity for the continued use by the current residents and others as determined by the organisation that will be formed to manage its future uses.
• The lands in front of the house will be landscaped and provided as public open space and will include a children’s playground.
• Some land adjacent to the school can be gifted to the school for open space use.
• The Holy faith Sisters, currently in residence, to be accommodated within the curtilage of the convent. Specific location to be agreed.
In addition and contiguous with these Community elements DPP foresee the following commercial components that will allow for the delivery of the above community elements:
• Possible craft/leisure destination type facilities may be developed around the main house and including the old school to enhance this community resource.
• A new link road passing through the un-zoned agricultural lands will be constructed, forming the first part of a Kilcoole Main Street by pass.
• Rezoning and planning will be sought for a substantial residential development on the surrounding currently un-zoned lands. Such a development will be of the highest quality and may include an element of sheltered housing adjacent to the main house and community elements.
• The housing elements will include extensive landscaped open space linking to a linear park running along the river at the eastern end of the lands.
DPP consider that this parcel of lands at the northern end of the town of Kilcoole can be developed in such a way as to enhance and improve the town and provide a significant amenity gain for the town.
You can find out more about the Darraghville Project Partnership on their Facebook page here, about Luisne here, indulge in one of their magnificent Open Days here, and watch out 2016 interview with Sister Miriam here.