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My Longford Life: Mental health advocate Shane Reid

Shane Reid pictured at the See change Walk and Talk

Shane Reid pictured (centre)at the See change Walk and Talk Picture: Shelley Corcoran

Q1. What's your idea of a perfect day or perfect weekend in Longford?

Well I’m an Aughnacliffe native so my idea of a perfect day would be an afternoon stroll around the beautiful Leebeen Park here in North Longford. A great way to relax and while the hours away.

2. Who has made the greatest contribution to Longford in your lifetime - and why?

So many have put Longford on the map, from Eddie Macken, to Mick Flavin and Declan Nerney to Padraic Colum and not forgetting former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds, who helped pave the way to the Good Friday Agreement.

3. What's your first Longford memory?

I remember being seven or eight and being in the cab of a Pat the Baker truck that was driving through the Longford town St Patrick’s Day parade. My friends dad was a driver for the Granard bakery and even though my memory is sketchy, I just remember it being awesome.

4. What's your favourite part of the county - and why?

Maybe as a North Longfordian I’m biased but I would have to say the Loch Gowna valley, our beautiful Leebeen Park plus Dernaferst and the glorious Derrycassan woods.

Also read: Heritage Hero Matt Farrell reveals all in 'My Longford Life'

5. Do you have a favourite local writer or author (or artist or musician)?

Padraic Colum is a legend around these parts, Sean Ó Súilleabháin’s 'Under the Thatch' is a wonderful look at Longford life in the fifties & sixties, but if I was to say a favourite then I’d go for the Brave Giant lads. A talented group doing the county proud and loyal to their roots.

6. What about a local walk - or view?

Leebeen Park is obviously fabulous but one of the best views in the county would be from Molly Hill. Spectacular is a word that doesn’t do it justice. There is also the Edenmore Bog Walk. A beautiful place of peace and quiet where you can get away from the hustle and bustle

7. What do you think gives Longford its unique identity?

I’d have to say the people, there’s always a great sense of community wherever you go, and people always pull together be it in celebration or crisis. Community spirit is unrivalled.

8. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Longford today?

It’s the dreaded word that we’re fed up hearing but uncertainty over Brexit will surely be causing worries especially amongst the county’s farming and manufacturing sectors. The U.K. governments handling of it has been shambolic and with the continued delays the element of the unknown remains.

9. If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Longford, what would it be?

It’s a tough one, as a society we’re always striving to improve in most aspects of our lives and in, and like every town and county across the country, Longford there are improvements that can be made of course there are... I think we should give more recognition to those who work tirelessly striving to improve their respective communities lives. A phrase I’ve learned from my friends in Grow is ‘To emphasise what is rather than what isn’t’.

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