On a day of massive celebrations the people of Aherlow and Killross marked the opening of a new community centre.
The event was the culmination of an incredible community effort spanning eleven years.
“It’s truly wonderful to see what a small community can do when they come together.” Alan Kelly TD said, praising the people of Aherlow and Kilross at the opening of the newly developed Community Centre in Lisvernane on Saturday 25thMarch.
The opening ceremony commenced in fabulous sunshine with the Lisvernane NS band marching from the entrance of the GAA Field to the Community Centre with the Community Council and Guests.
The occasion marked an eleven year process which saw the Community Council renovate the 100 year old school to a modern, multifunction centre. They raised €175,000 through intense community fundraising and support which was matched by grants from Tipperary County Council, Leader and JP Mac Manus.
Chairman of Aherlow Kilross Community Council, Dave Conway welcomed all in attendance and introduced several speakers, Paddy O’Shea of the 2011 winning G Team (TG4) , Mattie Mc Grath TD, Mike Sweeney , President of Muintir Na Tire, Isabel Cambie , CEO of South Tipperary Development Company, and finally Alan Kelly TD who cut the green and gold ribbon.
Real Community Spirit
The project was conceptualised, supported and carried out by people and groups from all over the area, something which each speaker highlighted as a wonderful example of real community spirit.
They particularly emphasised the importance of community led projects to sustain our increasingly threatened rural areas. Deputies Alan Kelly and Mattie Mc Grath both praised the community’s work in the face of an increasing lack of investment outside Dublin. Mike Sweeney ex- chair of the community council and newly elected President of Muintir na Tire highlighted the work the organisation would be doing to help communities engage with similar projects in their own areas.
The occasion was used to celebrate achievement and people from across the community. Honor Flynn and Willie Perry unveiled a commemorative plaque for the victorious 2011 G Team (A TG4 competition in which the community came together to promote the Irish language).
The committee presented Alan Kelly TD with a beautiful Caitriona Kenny photograph of Christ the King with the Glen of Aherlow and the Galtees in the background.
Tree Planting Ceremony
Finally, two of the most esteemed and senior members of the community, Lil Coffey and Jackie Bourke planted a tree in the Community Centre grounds.
After Canon O’Neill, Canon Talbot and Rev. Bronwen Carling blessed the community centre, the ceremony finished off with all present enjoying refreshments in the new community centre.