It was a step forward for the community of Palace Crescent and Cluain Ard last week as Longford Community Resources Limited (LCRL), in conjunction with the residents, organised a clean-up of the Palace Crescent and Cluain Ard housing estates.
The Community Development Team, Rural Resource Worker, County Longford Youth Service, the RuralSocial Scheme and the TÚS initiative, all part of LCRL, took part in the initiative.
These housing estates have become infamous due to derelict housing and littering in the area. Since March, LCRL has been working with the residents to identify their problems and pose them to the local County Council in an appeal for help.
This clean-up follows the successful demolition of two burnt-out and unsafe properties in Palace Crescent. Tonnes of domestic waste had accumulated in front of the two houses, making them both an eyesore and a health hazard. Following an ignored dangerous structure notice on the sites, the County Council removed the rubbish and demolished the properties in recent weeks.
On July 23, residents of the estate donned the County Council’s high visibility jackets and litter pickers and spent the evening collecting litter, cutting down overgrown hedging, pulling weeds and sweeping the kerbs. The next morning, the Rural Social Scheme and the TÚS Initiative completed the clean-up by strimming the common areas.
Felicia Loughrey of LCRL explained: “The results could be seen immediately. The difference that a simple clean-up can have on an estate is fantastic. There was a great feeling of community spirit last Thursday, with those involved chatting and laughing together while getting the work done.”
While the adult residents worked, the County Longford Youth Service (CLYS) engaged the young people from the estates in outdoor recreational activities on the green of Palace Crescent. The CLYS have been working in the estate over the past month and intend to provide a weekly service for the young people in the area.
Ola Ogunsain, speaking on behalf of Palace Crescent residents, said that “the residents are delighted with the timeframe in which the County Council has worked around their requests and would like to thank them for this”.
Adrian Greene, the CEO of LCRL adds that: “This truly shows how individuals, communities and agencies working together can begin to make a difference”.
There is still a lot of work to be done in the future, and LCRL welcomes help from the wider community.
If you are interested in joining the Community Development Team of LCRL on any of their initiatives, contact Valerie McFarlane, Felicia Loughrey or Peter Masterson on 043 3345555.