M’town, the ‘creative space’ on Mitchelstown’s Upper Cork Street opened by photographer Gill Fonteyn last July, closed abruptly this week, leaving a number of people scratching their heads as to the sudden closure.

Regulars using the space turned up on Monday morning only to find a notice on the window  – ‘on short winter holiday break’.

M’town opened in July of this year, headed up by Mr Fonteyn and was registered as a limited company – ‘M’town Inspirations’ with the directors names as Gladys and Gilbert Fonteyn. When the project opened, Mr Fonteyn said the intention was to use the building as a creative, artistic space in which to nurture creativity and art ‘and be a safe space where young people could go to relax and take part in activities that would interest them’.

A group of women who had become involved with the project over the past number of months – local artists in some form or another involved in arts and crafts, singers, musicians etc., who had given Mr Fonteyn of their time and skills to help him with the project on a voluntary basis – say they are ‘surprised’, ‘disappointed’ and some ‘downright angry’ at the closure. The Avondhu understands that a number had given personal donations to help keep the venture afloat, while all had helped out with various fundraising ventures.

However, a positive to come from the present debacle is that the group who say they had formed a great sense of friendship and camaraderie – have agreed to start something similar that would be ‘community-based and voluntary’, stating that the concept had been ‘of huge benefit to the area’.