There was great excitement in Clondra recently when the launch of the Village Area Enhancement Plan took place at the local community centre.
Anne Skelly addressed the gathering in the absence of Peggy Baxter who was not able to attend on the night.
The mission statement of the Plan is “to honour the past, enjoy the present and create a shared vision for the future of our community” and with four main enhancement themes including trails, heritage, road safety and the provision of facilities, there is much in the pipeline for the picturesque village, in the months and years ahead.
“Clondra has a rich heritage and an excellent infrastructure that can be explored for the benefit of locals and visitors alike,” Margaret Walsh, Longford Community Resources Ltd (LCRL), told the meeting. “Extensive research was done on trails in the area - from walking tails and cycle paths to canoe trails – and consideration was also given to signage and developing a web page. Hopefully some of these can be done without too great a financial commitment, because the trails, especially, could be linked to our rich heritage.”
Clondra and its environs boasts a unique history. Local legend has it, that Queen Maeve and her armies passed through the village on their way to attack Concubhar at Eamhain Mhacha. The existence of ring forts, the Abbey with its ninth century base and the village’s mention in The Annals of the Four Masters all combine methodically to provide onlookers with a unique insight into the area’s historical significance in Ireland.
“It was a prosperous village even before the coming of the canal with mills, and then the Royal Canal opened up a new era of prosperity,” Noleen Wlashe continued. “Goods came and went from the busy harbour, which was also, sadly, a place where many immigrants left in both the good times and the bad, with hopes and dreams for a prosperous new life overseas. Clondra looks forward to an exciting year ahead with ‘The Gathering’ and the Bi Centenary of the opening of Richmond Harbour. Hopefully by then, we will have a major Tidy Towns Award under our belt!”
Included in the Village Area Enhancement Plan are road safety matters and village enhancement including the upgrading of lighting and footpaths; speed limits reduction, and seating and stone wall restoration.
“Village facilities - sports, leisure and social – will also be examined and it has emerged that there is a need for a local football pitch in the village as well as a youth café and shop,” Ms Walshe continued. “A new venue to facilitate local clubs, meetings and celebrations would also be on the wish list, but realising the cost of such, a comfortable, safe venue could be provided in the old school, which is the present community hall.
“This would be a great asset to the community. Gone are the roars of the Celtic tiger and setting our sights on things far away. Communities need to rely on themselves in today’s economic environment for entertainment, social activities and cohesion. An inviting centre/space could encourage new activities like yoga, boules, drama club, marital arts, cookery, art and flower arranging.”
Copies of the plan can be obtained electronically free of charge or by hard copy for $20. Orders can be placed with the members of the committee.