In 1994 plans were made for the Church of Ireland minister, resident in The Old Rectory, to move to a newly built modern Rectory. In response the local church purchased the Old Rectory, Kilcronaghan Community Association was formed and they set out to source funding for the conversion & renovation of the building into a community facility.
After five years of hard work by the members of Kilcronaghan Community Association to secure local and international funding for the project and supported by the Rural Development Programme, around £400,000 was raised which allowed the centre to be fully refurbished into a multi-purpose residential building in 2000. Kilcronaghan Youth hostel Ltd opened it’s doors in the summer of 2001 with the official opening on 3rd October 2001 by the then Minister of Agriculture, Brid Rodgers MLA. Since then Kilcronaghan Community Association has continued to develop and add to the facilities with the addition of an education suite and a new purpose built conference centre.
Now branded as KILCRONAGHAN CENTRE, we are proud to be an all-inclusive facility offering excellent accommodation, modern conference facilities and ample outdoor spaces.
Kilcronaghan residential runs as an independent social enterprise and Kilcronaghan Community Association(KCA) focuses its attention on providing classes/events/workshops for the community.
KCA was established to improve the social, economic & well-being of the local community. KCA actively promotes practices to the benefit of the community, without prejudice and aims to provide facilities and classes, open to everyone, to relieve poverty, advance education, preserve and inform on health and well-being. More recently KCA has been actively offering many new courses and classes to a wider section of the community, including healthy eating, aerobics, painting, health aware, laughter yoga, gardening etc. Throughout the year classes and events run regularly to ensure we have a good mix from within the local communities. KCA is the lifeline to many in our community and surrounding areas.
Kilcronaghan Youth Hostel Ltd (KYH) trades as a social enterprise, with all surpluses re-invested into the business and the wider community. KYH is a not-for-profit community organization, based in a rural area tackling poverty and social isolation.
A long term lease is secured on the building from the Church of Ireland and it now provides accommodation for 44. The Centre is also used as a meeting/training venue for local groups and is well known in the area as a neutral venue, often hosting groups from various backgrounds, areas and disadvantages. KYH was set up to promote educational and recreational activities for the benefit of local and visiting youth groups. As a community and voluntary led social enterprise we deal with the issues of poverty and social isolation facing communities on a daily basis and we aim to improve this and the health and wellbeing of our rural community.
The house, dating back from the late 18th Century was originally the Church of Ireland Rectory. Kilcronaghan means ‘the church of Cronaghan’. Saint Cronaghan was the teacher and foster father of Saint Columba and he is mentioned by the writer Adamnan in the 7th century, while ‘kyllecronechan’ as a place was written about as early as 1397.
The ancient church of Cronaghan and adjoining graveyard is next to the now Kilcronaghan Centre and is well worth a visit as the whole place is just teeming with history. The Old Rectory was reputed to be joined to the Old Church by a tunnel up to the 1960s, when it was then closed.