Eric Ehigie, a student at Moyne CS and the winner of the individual award at the Garda Youth awards
Eric Ehigie, the winner of the Individual award at the Garda Youth awards, is a mental health advocate, student welfare officer and organiser of Mothú takes is this week's respondent to the Leader's Longford Life column.
1. What's your idea of a perfect day or perfect weekend in Longford?
For me, a perfect weekend is one filled with sunshine and vibrancy. There is no better sight than the sun shining onto the town on a busy weekend. The aesthetic image of St Mel's Cathedral on a sun filled weekend is one to remember!
2. Who has made the greatest contribution to Longford in your lifetime - and why?
From the stories that I have heard, the late TD Peter Kelly contributed immensely to the local area. I continuously hear of those who have helped the African diaspora in Longford to integrate effectively and his name is one that is respectfully mentioned. For me, it was my friend Damola Adetoshoye. He was a great friend of mine, who was always inclusive and humble. He positively impacted the lives of everyone who knew him. Unfortunately, he passed on two years ago but his memory is forever with those who had the pleasure of meeting him.
3. What's your first Longford memory?
My first memory has to be making my debut for the soccer team, Melview FC. It was a rainy day in Abbeycartron, I was in senior infants and I do not remember the ball passing to me once!
4. What's your favourite part of the county - and why?
I reside in the town but go to school at Moyne CS. Due to this, I have been privileged with the views that rural Ireland has to offer. The change in scenery was a culture shock at first but now I have gotten used to it and I would like to think that I have embraced the 'culchie' customs rather well.
5. Do you have a favourite local writer or author (or artist or musician)?
I am a fan of the band Brave Giant and at times I look over the material of Maria Edgeworth.
6. What about a local walk - or view?
My favourite place to go for a stroll in Longford town would have to be the Sports Complex, the Mall. The buoyant imagery is endless.
7. What do you think gives Longford its unique identity?
What makes Longford special is its history. Longford has been deeply involved in some of the greatest moments in history. Whether it was those involved in the 1916 rising, Michael Collins’ affiliation with the area or the array of poets and authors that have came from here.
8. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Longford today?
The biggest problems are the ones on the ground that our local representatives need to work more efficiently to change...The youth don't have a representative in the council they can relate to.
9. If you had the power to change one thing in, or about Longford, what would it be?
I would want to place a third level institution in the area! This will keep the youth
in Longford, attract other young prospects to Longford and encourage those who may have been deterred from going on to third level, to go and experience it.