Heritage Hero Matt Farrell
What's your idea of a perfect day or perfect weekend in Longford?
A leisurely breakfast at home taking in the views of Granard Motte from my kitchen window, followed by a fourball with my friends on the beautiful County Longford Golf course with its wonderful views from its elevated location over the county.
This would be followed by coffee in the clubhouse. The ideal Sunday morning would be the newspapers followed with quality time with the family.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Longford in your lifetime - and why?
I admire all those who have huge contributions through their voluntary work. If I had to name someone it would be Mrs Dawson who was the driving force behind St Christopher’s.
What's your first Longford memory?
I have great memories of growing up in Edgeworthstown and the freedom we had to grow compared to the restrictions placed on children now. We went fishing in the river Inny, birds nesting, walking to school and playing in the fields.
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
There are so many, I enjoy kayaking in Abbeyshrule with my grandson, cycling along the canal or walking on Cairn Hill or Derrycassan Woods. There is so much to do and see in the county.
Do you have a favourite local writer or author (or artist or musician)?
Next year is the 25th Maria Edgeworth Literary Festival and over the years we have endeavoured to include local artists and musicians in the programme. Through this I have enjoyed the wealth of talent Longford has to offer. Again, if I had to pick someone it would be the O’ Reilly family who are so talented. Of course, I cannot leave out Maria Edgeworth who left a great legacy, a legacy we are trying to create a greater awareness about.
What about a local walk - or view?
The views around Cairn Hill in Drumlish or Glen Lake in Edgeworthstown.
What do you think gives Longford its unique identity?
Its warm people and their appetite for voluntary work in all areas of society.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Longford today?
I think we suffered from a lack of identity. Maybe this is due to our location in the midlands. This may now change with the creation of the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands brand which will highlight our unique identity.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Longford, what would it be?
I would encourage people to be more confident in our future, with the growth in the economy and the arrival of Centre Parcs the future looks good.