Longford's Cllr Paraic Brady nominated to the board of LWR Local Link

Local Link at heart of rural communities

Longford Leader reporter

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Longford's Cllr Paraic Brady nominated to the board of LWR Local Link

Longford's Cllr Paraic Brady nominated to the board of LWR Local Link

Cllr Paraic Brady has been nominated by Longford County Council to replace Senator Micheál Carrigy on the board of Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon (LWR) Local Link.

The Granard Municipal District councillor was appointed following the election of his Fine Gael party colleague to the Seanad last Spring. 

LWR Local Link manager Damien O’Neill was out on the ground last Friday in  Longford to meet the newest member of this transport charity’s board.  

Mr O'Neill said, “Calling out to Cllr Brady gave us a brilliant opportunity to chat with him about the important role Local Link plays across the three counties of Longford, Westmeath and Roscommon and it's also important to us as a company to understand as much as we can about the areas we serve.  

“Paraic gave us a whistle stop tour of Drumlish and Ballinamuck; an area served by our Local Link Service LR12 which connects the villages of Drumlish and Ballinamuck to their rural hinterlands every Friday.

"This includes Killashee, Boher Cross, Lettergullion, Derryheelan, Doorick., Gaigue, Ballinamuck, Fairdromin, Kiltycreevagh and Cornakelly. If anyone in the area around the village would like to book onto the service we can collect them and bring them in on one of three runs the bus does to collect people and deliver them into the village.  

“We think that it's important to many people to stay connected with their village and getting in for messages means that even in Covid-19 times people are still getting the chance to see each whether if it’s a simple, socially distanced hello across a shop counter or a wave from one side of the road to the other,” added Mr O'Neill, manager of Local Link LWR. 

He further explained, “Our buses are all cleaned down after every single use, all the surfaces that people come into contact with are disinfected and there is hand sanitiser on our buses. We have 50 per cent capacity to create social distance on the bus and we ask people that are travelling to wear the mask. For those that are shielding, they can also make an arrangement to have their shopping collected and dropped using our LR12; It's important to us that we are playing our role in the community response to Covid-19 and making sure people are not left behind or forgotten.” 

Cllr Brady also shared the ambitious plans that the area has for a new tourism trail and the works the community are behind to develop the community centre and increase the services in the town.  

“Transport is an important factor in any development. The NTA and Local Link are all about connectivity; whether it is our service connecting the hinterland to the village, our bus times intersecting with a service that travels onto a bigger town like Cavan, Longford and linking again to the train to Dublin, or our services helping a community centre where they choose Friday to offer a new course or programme because they know we can provide some of the transport that’s important to us.  

“The LR12 which runs on a Friday is about connecting people living a few miles in any direction with Drumlish and with Ballinamuck- to be booked onto the service they call us on 044 9340801. The NTA have invested in an app for the drivers that help us inform them who is travelling on their service, detail where they are to be collected- the driver turns on his app on the morning of the service and all the information is there for him. 

"We also love to hear from people about how we can improve our service; and routes change as time moves on; that is what is so great about these rural services is that we can change the routes to meet the needs of the area within the hinterland. So, it's important if you are new to the area, or maybe in the past the route didn’t serve your area, to get in touch with us and see if we can accommodate you on the new routes."