Jillian McNulty Photo by Shelley Corcoran
Well-known around Longford and beyond for her Cystic Fibrosis campaigns and fundraising events, Jillian was recently voted Longford’s All Time Great. The Longford Leader caught up with her to ask her some questions.
What's your idea of a perfect day or perfect weekend in Longford?
A few hours in Ward Urban Day Spa to relax and unwind, followed by an amazing meal in Viewmount House, where you can enjoy gorgeous views of Longford. Then a little bit of retail therapy in some of our fantastic shops. Nothing better.
Who has made the greatest contribution to Longford in your lifetime - and why?
There are so many amazing people to choose from but Ruth McGarry and The Attic House have given so much to Longford’s youth. They created a safe haven for them out of school hours. And every year hundreds of busses come through town for the Hype Festival also organised by Ruth and her amazing team. Incredible dedication to the younger generation, the whole team need to get much more recognition for the incredible work they do.
What's your first Longford memory?
The Pantry on Ballymahon Street. Every Saturday Mam would bring us for a treat. I can still remember the cakes & buns! Divine!
What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
Longford Town. We have such an amazing variety of restaurants and coffee shops, boutiques; it’s what makes us the best town this side of the Shannon.
Do you have a favourite local artist?
Has to be local band Gobsmacked; extremely talented bunch of lads. In fact, they played at my Valentine’s Ball this year free of charge given it was for cystic fibrosis. Incredible!
What about a local walk?
Nothing better than a walk on the Battery Road on a fine day.
What do you think gives Longford its unique identity?
The people, without a doubt. They're friendly and helpful and always there in a crisis. Over the past 11 years campaigning and fundraising for CF I’ve received tremendous support from local businesses and the people of Longford.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Longford today?
Local businesses are struggling to stay open. People need to shop local or we are going to have no town. It’s sad to see so many businesses closing. We need more companies to locate here to give locals employment and really boost our town.
If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Longford, what would it be?
There shouldn’t be parking fees in town. So many people are put off having to pay so go elsewhere to do their shopping. Those going to mass are forced to pay parking fees. Free parking would attract so much more potential customers. A lot of people are struggling to get their weekly shopping so they genuinely can’t afford parking fees.