In 1990 a number of individuals came together to progress the idea of building a multipurpose building that would be used to house a community centre for the rural community of Inistioge. The previously funded for school hall had become too small for many of the community groups to use and many people were travelling to nearby larger towns to avail of services that could not be provided locally due to space constraints and school activities. A number of sites were identified over the years but it was not until the Inistioge Community Council were invited by the GAA in 2006 to enter into a lease agreement with them to utilise a part of the proposed new GAA premises as a Community Centre that the dream began to become a reality. A newly elected Committee of the Inistioge Community Council entered negotiations with the GAA in order to progress this lease arrangement and to act as a representative body of all the groups and individuals in the community who would have access to this Centre. his newly elected Committee also wanted to widen and develop its role in the community:
- Ensuring that a Community Centre would become a reality
- Fundraising for the Community Centre
- Increasing awareness of Clubs and Organisations already in existence
- Encouraging the setting up of new clubs and societies
- Involving young people in more community activities with a view to giving them a sense of responsibility and an opportunity to develop community leadership skills
- Exploring ways of keeping our older community members active and involved
- Participating in the Kilkenny Community and Voluntary Forum
- Staging social events to give people who have recently moved to the area an opportunity to meet more long-term residents
- Ensuring all sections of our community feel included
- Producing a community newsletter
- to keep the wider community aware of clubs and organizations upcoming events/fixtures
- to highlight community issues and concerns
- to acknowledge individual or group achievements in the community
- to include tourist information
- to include parish news, useful timetables, local history features etc.
An application for planning permission to build a GAA/Community Centre incorporating dressing rooms, sports hall and community centre space was placed with Kilkenny local Authorities in November 2006 which was granted in August 2007 after issues such as waste water, flood relief measures and car parking were addressed to their satisfaction. After visiting a number of Community Centres in the subsequent time period, it was decide to undertake a formal review of the building design particularly pertaining to the community centre part of the building as it was felt that improvements could be made to ensure maximum use of the Centre post build. Unfortunately this meant the resubmission of plans for approval to the Local Planning Authority and permission was finally granted in April 2008.
The improved design was awarded to a local Contractor after a tendering process and work commenced.
Woodstock 100 years ago, summer shows, local lottery competitions and Race nights were held over the early years to raise funds for the Community Centre. More recent high profile events run by the Inistioge Community Council included the Inistioge Summer Festival held each year since 2009 on the June Bank Holiday weekend. Glorious weather and a huge community effort resulted in the raising of over 13,000 euros for the Community Centre on its debut run. A very successful Golf Classic, held in May by Rower Inistioge GAA, raised in excess of 30,000 euros for the cause. Along with the monies raised from these events, the sense of community spirit engendered as a result was immeasurable and the anticipation of functions to come in a new Community Centre was tangible.