“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” A statement that certainly rang true during last week’s launch of the Killoe Villages and Area Enhancement Plan at the community centre in Cullyfad.
Locals and politicians gathered in their droves to see the plan of action that is now in place to enhance the picturesque north Longford parish, in conjunction with Keystone Landscape Architects and Longford Community Resources Ltd (LCRL). “There is a lot to be done and some of it has started with the Titanic Monument in the final stages, but none of this will get done over night so we will need everyone in the parish to get on board so that we can bring this project to fruition,” Séan McGoey told the meeting.
The meeting heard that there were four main areas of development including Cullyfad Village; Ennybegs/Killenatruan; Heritage and signage as well as sports and waterways.
“The Plan will assist in the enhancement of the built environment, protect and cherish its heritage and encourage awareness around the beauty of the Parish along with its potential for tourism, sport and leisure activities,” Mary Burns said.
“The Parish of Killoe is one of the largest parishes in Co Longford with its three villages: Ennybegs, Cullyfad and Killeenatruan and a population of 1,600. Some of the major attractions that Killoe has to offer to its visitors includes its tranquillity, vibrant community and it’s creative and welcoming people.”
Following on from a community consultation process, a number of ideas and proposals were put forward, and later when members of the community voted, the ideas and proposals that scored highest were included in the village enhancement plan.
“The three villages in the Parish have been designated as tier 2 villages,” Ms Burns added. “These are the areas which are designated for the primary purpose of fulfilling local housing needs and absorbing demand from the rural hinterland. Cullyfad, Ennybegs and to a lesser extent Kileenatruan have all experienced significant development in the recent past.
“It is considered that these areas will also provide limited local services such as neighbourhood shops and childcare facilities. Sewerage schemes are proposed for the three villages and this will enable a higher density of housing to be provided in the development envelopes surrounding the villages as outlined in the County Development Plan.
“The Plan notes a need for footpaths in our villages, more public lighting, better signage, road markings and the provision of community car parks. There are also very scenic areas in the Parish which provide potential for tourism and the Ring Fort at Bawn, the important stand of trees in Carriglass Estate, Farragh Wood, the built environment at Carriglass including the Manor House, stables, gate lodge and the Gandon Gate, the demesne walls and walled garden all provide the area with a rich heritage.
“Given the required permission, access to LCRL funding or heritage grants, funding from all other agencies and sponsorship, the local community will undertake – under the Plan – to play its part in the restoration of heritage features, be they buildings or walkways through the Carriglass Demesne, Farragh Wood and Kilmoyle Wood.”
She also said that because April 2012 marked the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic and the subsequent death of Killoe native James Farrell while aboard the doomed ship, part of the parish land in the centre of Ennybegs village would be developed “as a Titanic Memorial Garden”.
“The garden will comprise of paths, planting, lawn areas and a central monument consisting of an anchor from Belfast Dock suitably mounted on a stone backdrop and inscribed plaque,” Ms Burns concluded.