By Michelle Crean

Building works for 47 bed spaces, state-of-the-art workshop rooms and meeting spaces began in Killarney on Tuesday – at KDYS eurOg Killarney – the only European Youth Centre in Ireland.

The move is part of a plan to cater for groups travelling from all over the county, country and internationally, and will include an onsite coffee shop which will also be open to the public at the centre located alongside the Friary in Killarney.

‘eurOg’ Youth Centre in the town is the flagship centre of the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service and was awarded the European Youth Centre Quality Label in 2017 by the Council of Europe, becoming the only Youth Centre in Ireland to receive this accolade, and one of only 13 Youth Centres in total out of the 47 member countries of the Council of Europe.

This new wing will create exciting new opportunities for young people to come and stay in Killarney from all over the county, all over Ireland and internationally, CEO Tim O’Donoghue explained.

“We are delighted to expand our service and to introduce this facility as it will connect many young people locally to opportunities across Europe and for continental based young Europeans to come here,” he said.

“It will also create possibilities for young people in youth clubs around the county to come and enjoy Killarney as part of their annual programme.”

In late October, the Council of Europe expert team will visit Killarney to reassess the centre with a view to renewing the European Youth Centre Quality Label for a further five years.

“The Council of Europe are very impressed with the work of the KDYS and recognise the powerful community support that ensures that our young people benefit from a high quality youth service in their area,” he said.

“We are very proud that a Kerry organisation is leading out these high standards on a national and international stage. The development of ‘STAY@eurOg’ will take around two months and this will see us into a new and exciting programme in 2020.”