'Longford's community spirit is alive and well,' opening of Glen NS afterschool facility is told

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Glen NS

Local politicans and invited guests watch on as Longford Rose Loren Katie Logan cuts the ribbon on the opening of Glen NS Afterschool facility.

Community spirit may be an often overused turn of phrase, but it was one which was in rich supply on the outer fringes of Edgeworthstown last Friday as locals gathered to witness the grand unveiling of Glen National School Afterschool facility.

The service, which opened its doors at the start of the school term, was officially opened at a special ceremony in front of locals and invited guests last Friday.

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Longford Westmeath TD and OPW Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran set the seal on the impressive looking structure while paying tribute to the hardworking endeavours of local volunteers, businesses and committee members for their input in bringing about its introduction.

The Athlone based Dáil deputy, in addressing those in attendance, made no secret to his own struggles with literacy growing up as he told of how services like those in Glen can make to young childrens’ lives.

“I believe in giving kids a chance, a chance that maybe I didn’t get at the time,” he said. “School didn’t agree with me or I didn’t agree with school it makes no difference but I want to see kids get the chance they deserve.”

In singling out the efforts of local Fine Gael Cllr Colm Murray, Mr Moran also took time to pay tribute to the involvement of Longford County Council, Athlone’s Brendan Callaghan and local businesses such as Ganly’s Hardware and Bennett’s of Mullingar who contributed €8,000 towards the scheme.

Well known for his witty jibes, Mr Moran took time to send an in jest “good luck” message to onlooking Longford general election candidates Micheal Carrigy (FG) and Joe Flaherty before underlining just what can be achieved when politicians work in unison together.

It was a mantra Ballymahon Municipal District Cathaoirleach Cllr Paul Ross was quick to pick up on.

“It shows what politicians can do when they work together.

“It’s all great us being here today on a bright sunny day and announcing this opening and announcing funding but what you don’t see is about a year and a half ago how Paddy (McGann, Chairperson),

Charlie (O'Connor, Secretary) Annmarie (McLoughlin, Principal) and Frank came together to see what could be done about numbers in the school and about children going to afterschool facilities.

“From then on it was a massive leap of faith.”

For her part, Ms McLoughlin said the occasion was one which underpinned the locality's level of community spirit.

“Everyone gets involved, everyone supports and everyone does their best,” she said.

The end product and the beaming smiles that were now etched on the faces of pupils “spoke volumes” as to its importance and sustainabilty going forward.