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"I'm still a volunteer and always will be"

Story by Deirdre Verney

Tuesday, 8th August, 2017 1:22pm

Mona Joyce pictured with Aaron Joyce and Anne Roper at the recent St Kieran's Community Centre Family Day

Community stalwart Mona Joyce recently stepped down as Chairperson of St Kieran's Community Centre after over 20 years at the helm.

However, she has vowed to remain involved in the facility that has been a huge part of her life for in excess of four decades now.

"I'm still a volunteer. I'm still here to advise and help," she said welcoming and wishing Betty Brennan well as she takes over the role heading up the busy facility.

"I'm very proud of what has achieved. It's a state-of-the-art facility, you don't usually get that in an urban environment, maybe in rural but not usually in a town.

"I'll see where I fit in now. Betty Brennan is the new Chairperson and it's time now for new blood and new ideas. I feel I have brought it as far as I can," she commented, adding that she is always available to help out and that's not going to change.

"I'm still a volunteer and I always will be. My heart is in St Kierans. That doesn't change."

"I'm not running away, I'm just up the road," Mona joked.

Asked what she is most proud of during her tenure heading up the community facility, she said: "The biggest achievement was opening the pre-school. I always considered it my baby since it opened in 2008. I'm really proud too how the centre has evolved over time".

She paid tribute to Liz Fletcher, who she said was "tremendous" in helping to bring the voluntary venture to what it is today, and the "great crew" who help run and use the busy facility which hosts over 10 groups a week as well as myriad of activities, clubs, courses, functions and classes in the heart of Athlone.

"Where you need St Kieran's it is here for you," Mona simply said, pointing out that sourcing funding and volunteers are two of the biggest challenges for a facility like it going forward. She appealed for other groups or individuals to come in and see what is on offer in the centre either as a user or volunteer.

"You can do more if you have volunteers. We always need more," she ended.

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