A look back at 2019

We had our AGM last night. A big thank you to everyone who braved the weather and came to hear what we’d been up to and what we plan for next year.

To keep everyone up to speed here is our Review of 2019.

Remember – if you’d like to join the Development Committee, we meet on the third Wednesday of each month at 8pm and, although we get a lot done, the meetings rarely last more than 45 minutes.

Introduction

Welcome to our review of the Development Company’s activities and achievements in 2019.

None of these would be possible without the unstinting help and assistance of the members of the Development Committee, the CE Teams (both A and B), the members of the many clubs and societies of Lisacul and, of course, the people of Lisacul themselves.

I would like to thank sincerely the CE Team led and managed by John Greene, and all associated with the scheme for all their hard work throughout the year.

I’d also like to thank the outgoing committee for all their support and work during the year. Keeping communities alive and thriving takes commitment from the organisers and support from our community – some events are successful and some we learn from, however the same effort and commitment goes in from the committee members to each event and without their unfailing support, Lisacul Community Development Company and the community we live in would not thrive as we do.

2019 was another busy year as you will read in more detail below. One of our aims is to get a community event for each month of the year and I’m delighted to say we’re nearly there! New people bring new ideas and fresh energy to a community and a committee and I’d appeal to anyone who is willing to join the committee and help out to come along and join – many hands make light work!

Thanks again for all your support and here’s to another successful year in our community.

The Community Employment Programme

The Community Employment scheme contract was again awarded thanks to the impressive work put in by Supervisor John Greene and his team, ably supported by Tom Coppinger. This enables us to continue the employment of sixteen people over the year, albeit with some changes of personnel – we said goodbye to Tony Foley and Nina Oram, and welcomed Carol Warren to the team.

We began the year by teaming up with the Ballinlough scheme to plan joint work and joint training courses, giving both teams experience in different environments.

We carried on our usual work schedule of village maintenance, leaf sweeping, verge trimming, and litter picking in both villages, and looking after the nets, clubhouse and grounds at Éire Óg. We repainted the interior of Lisacul Community Centre and Éire Óg. In the office, we provided administrative assistance to various Clubs and Societies and to the hosts of several birthday parties held at the Centre.

At the end of the year, the team set up for both the Christmas Party and Tommy Gallagher’s 100th birthday party, built Cribs and grottoes, sleds for Santa and hung the Christmas lights.

In the summer, a cohort of CE members completed a Major Award in Horticulture, while others continued their Business Administration training. Short courses undertaken through the year included manual handling, Safepass accreditation, and food safety.

Jean Timothy, the Development Officer overseeing the contract, retired from the DSP and was presented with a card and gift following her farewell visit to the office. The new CDO, Anne Conlon, also dropped in to visit and we look forward to working with her in the future.

The Resource Centre and the Community Centre

The Resource Centre continues to be well used, providing facilities for events, administrative back up, and additional expertise to our community groups where needed.

The Administrator for Brightsparks uses a desk in the Resource Centre, while local groups – such as Active Age, the Ladies Club, Brightsparks Preschool Committee, Lisacul Players, and Tidy Towns – and individuals used the administrative facilities offered by the Resource Centre for photocopying, internet research for college projects, administration for Ros Go Run and Village Play ticket sales, and poster designs and publicity for local events.

Use of the halls also increased. We hosted three birthday parties, two for children and one for Tommy Gallagher’s 100th birthday. The parents have told us how much they appreciated the ease of using the hall, especially how little tidying they had to do and not having to worry about the weather, as there is plenty of space for children to run around.

During the year, we had a fire safety audit of the whole building and, while the building is safe to use, we will be upgrading some aspects of the fire alarm system.

Promoting art, culture and heritage

In addition to our support to GAA facilities in Lisacul – the Handball Alley and James Timothy Park – we added a hay rake, possibly the one featured in the DVD of village events in 1937, to the old farm machinery project.

The two cultural highlights of the year were the Seán Keane concert and the annual play, both of which were well attended by people from Lisacul and further afield.

In August, we organised a walk to the Children’s burial ground at Calvary followed by refreshments at the Community Centre.

Community Development

We were delighted to provide space for ‘The Big Hello’ picnic, hosted by Tidy Towns, in May, which drew a large number of visitors to the hall.

We entered Pride of Place and hosted a visit from the adjudicators and several public representatives, among them Senator Maura Hopkins, Senior Executive Pat Murtagh, Claudette Collins, Councillors  Orla Leyden, Kathleen Shanagher, Paschal Fitzmaurice, and Anthony Waldron, and TD Eugene Murphy, as well as representatives from village clubs and societies.

Information Resource

Our Facebook page continues to be an excellent means of communicating with the community and the diaspora. At the end of 2019, we had 474 followers on the page and business owners within the community have used the page to advertise their services.

The parish newsletter continues to appear on the website, and this year we added a community newsletter to highlight the many clubs and societies in Lisacul and to publicise the work of the Community Development Company.

In the middle of the year, fibre broadband arrived in Lisacul and we signed up as soon as it was available to the hall. The high speeds this provides has transformed the work in the Resource Centre and throughout the Centre, and enables more services to be provided in the village.

We also attended a Digital Strategies Workshop in October, listening to an address from Sean Canney, Minister of State for Natural Resources, Community Affairs and Digital Development and giving feedback and input, including a suggested village skills audit and a village virtual assistant, for inclusion in the development of a three-year Digital roadmap for each county.

Managing Resources

LCDC is charged with ensuring the company has the physical resources necessary to carry out its business.

We continue to reap the rewards of the new insulation installed in 2018, and the cost of the new fibre broadband is less than we were paying our previous provider. We continue to review and compare utility provider costs to ensure we are getting the best value for money.

Recreation Space

The company does not have sufficient outdoor space to provide gardens and greenhouses for general use however, through its management of the CE scheme, and cooperation with other local schemes, it looks after many of the green spaces throughout the village. These include verges, the gardens of the church, graveyards and burial spaces, the handball alley, the sensory garden attached to Brightsparks Preschool, and beds and planting boxes throughout the village.

We now have the use of a polytunnel and, although it was not possible to bring this into use last year, we hope to have it up and productive in the near future.

Ros Go Run added a five kilometre route to their established 10k and half marathon routes and this has encouraged more people to take exercise along the route.

Fundraising

Despite the absence of Municipal District Funding in 2019, we still managed to bring in funds throughout the year.

The principal contributor was the Alan O’Dowd fund, generated from a football tournament held in memory of Alan. This provided new catering tables and chairs, cups and saucers, milk jugs, trays and a plethora of other equipment, which will enable us to host parties and events of up to 100 people.

Renting the hall for events such as The Big Hello and birthday parties brought in further funds, and we were able to access a Communities and Heritage grant for non-capital expenses involved in the Sean Keane concert and the annual play as well as a contribution from Roscommon County Council towards the Pride of Place entry.

Donations from Ros Go Run and Lisacul Players were gratefully received and the Cemetery Mass, as ever, provided a welcome boost to the funds in midsummer.

Facilities for Children

Brightsparks Preschool continues to have a home in the centre and has been able to expand its hours thanks to Pobal funding. The Toddler Group is now established on Thursday morning with a regular, if small, attendance, and Eithne Fahy still welcomes children to classes every Friday during the school terms.

Children were also welcomed into the centre for Easter, Hallowe’en and Christmas parties and discos, and to birthday and communion parties throughout the year.

Future Plans

We will be able to apply for Municipal District Funding in 2020 and will be seeking funding for health and safety compliant office chairs, new lead flashing and minor repairs to the roof, and re-insulation of cold spots in the Memorial Hall.

We are establishing a regular schedule of events with the aim of having something happening every month. At present we plan a quiz in Creaton’s in February, the play in April, a Midsummer Walk in June, the Cemetery Mass in July, a walk to Calvary in August, the Ros Go Run in September and a village tea party in late autumn, together with the usual Hallowe’en and Christmas festivities.

 

 

The Winter Newsletter

We had a terrific response to the first edition of the newsletter – well, all the copies we put in the Church and at Coleman’s disappeared and we had several downloads from the Website, so we’ll take that as a win.

Here is the Winter edition, with a great feature on the Ladies Club which meets at the Community Centre on the second Wednesday of each month when they’re not gallivanting about the place to theatres or dinners.

Again, let us know what you think, who we should feature, and any information we should include.

Community Newsletter Winter 2020

AGM 2020

It’s time for an AGM. The incredibly formal notice is below, but here’s a picture first.

Notice

Is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Company will be held at Lisacul Community Centre, Lisacul, on the nineteenth day of February 2020 at 8:00pm.

Agenda

  1. Adoption of Minutes of previous AGM
  2. Annual Report of Board
  3. Audited accounts
  4. Reappointment of retiring Auditors
  5. Election of Directors
  6. Consider & decide resolutions for which due notice has been given

By Order of the Board

If you would like to submit a resolution, you need to send it to us in writing to the Resource Centre in Lisacul, or by email to LisaculResources@gmail.com.

 

It’s Party Time!

Ham, Turkey, Beef…

The Christmas Party is on 30th November at 8pm in the Community Centre.

You know the drill – buffet supper, tea and coffee, music, bring your own glasses and refreshments. Ten euro per person and you’ll get a ticket for the raffle too!

Everyone is welcome and we look forward to meeting old friends and making new ones.

The Community Newsletter

At a recent meeting of the Lisacul Development committee, ways of talking to people in Lisacul came up. We have our Facebook page, our Twitter account, and the notice board in front of the Community Centre, but what about people who don’t do social media or who can’t get out to the Community Centre? How can we keep them up to date with events in the village?

So today, we are launching a Community Newsletter. It will come out quarterly, and, in addition to some useful information, will include a feature on various clubs and societies. We hope you’ll like it, and we hope you’ll tell us what works, what doesn’t, what you’d like to see more of.

We’ll put copies of the newsletter in the usual spaces, but we hope you’ll do your bit for greater village communications by downloading a copy and passing it on to someone who doesn’t usually hear about things from t’internet. Community Newsletter Autumn 2019

Things to do in Autumn

Roscommon County Council have launched a list of things to do in Autumn. It comes with a checklist so you can see how many things you can get done between now and the end of November.

Here’s a story about the local area to start you all off. It comes from the 1938 School Essays collection and it was collected by Clar Ni Mesecain.

“There was an old woman living alone in this place many years ago, and one night a beggar man came in to her. She gave him his supper and told him to go his way but he sternly refused. At last she thought of a plan. She asked him if he would make some straw ropes for [her] and he said that he would. She brought in some straw and she made the rope while he twisted it. She opened the door and told him to continue twisting but when she got him outside the door stop she broke the rope and closed the door, so he had to go away.”

You can download a poster of all the things you might do here: Heritage Autumn Heritage Bucket List

 

Pride of Place

We had our visit from the Pride of Place judges on Tuesday – right in the middle of the power cut – but thanks to locals and the CE team who rallied around with a portable gas cooker and a generator, we were able to carry on with the presentation and, most importantly, the refreshments afterwards.

The weather was wonderful, so after a presentation and a question and answer session, and some really lovely impromptu speeches from Senator Maura Hopkins, Councillors Paschal Fitzmaurice, Orla Leyden, Kathleen Shanagher and Tony Waldron, and Senior Executive Officer of Roscommon County Council, Pat Murtagh, praising Lisacul and its community, we were able to take the judges on a tour of the village, passing the Church of Christ the King, Eire Og GAA, and the Ball Alley, with stops at the Fort in the National School, Kilruan Cemetery, Willowbrook Glamping, and the Golden Mile.

We can now share the Presentation and the Supplemental Information with everyone – we hope you enjoy it, and thank you to everyone who helped with the writing, especially Denise Deery of the Ladies Club and Tom Coppinger of the Development Company.

The Steering Committee for Pride of Place

Pride of Place judges, honoured guests, and the Pride of Place Team – with thanks to Senator Hopkins for the photo.

Senator Hopkins and Councillors Shanagher, Waldron, Fitzmaurice and Leyden talk to Teresa Cahill about Ros Go Run 2019

Children’s Burial Ground Walk

In a quiet and gently peaceful area of Silverfield lies the Children’s Burial Ground, known locally as Calvary. Anyone familiar with the New Testament will understand the profound sadness and pain that that name conveys. How the area came into being, the place it occupies in the hearts of those most familiar with it, and  how it was restored to the consciousness of the community is beautifully recalled in The Gathering Book.

On Friday 2nd August, we will be holding a walk from the Community Centre to the Children’s Burial Ground. We’ll set off from the Centre at 7:30pm and, after a pause for contemplation at Calvary, return for refreshments. We hope as many people as possible will join us.

Alan O’Dowd Benefice

Visitors to the Resource Centre in the Community Centre over the past few months may have noticed some new additions. As well as a fantastic kitchen makeover, giving us some much needed storage space, the New Hall has filled up with additional tables and chairs, and the new presses are heaving with useful kitchen equipment.

This is all thanks to the Trustees of the Alan O’Dowd Fund who have turned a family tragedy into a tribute to community spirit by providing the equipment needed to hold events that bring us together, whether in mourning or in celebration.

We look forward to using the tables, the chairs, the utensils, and the lovely new kitchen for many years to come, imbuing them as we do so with the memory of a life too soon ended.

 

Breakdown of Spend

Total Fund (Aug 2018) – €8,113.00
Tables and Chairs – €4,735.50
Kitchen units – €1,350.00
Crockery – €1,245.97
Total – €7,331.47
Balance (July 2019) – €781.53

To read about how the funds were raised, visit this page.

Love Knots Reviewed

This year, the Lisacul Players came together for their fourth annual production, a truly hilarious performance of Jimmy Keary’s Three Act Comedy, Love Knots. The Players have proven that they have a definite affinity for comedy – between the antics of Larry Casey (Tom Coppinger) and Eddie O’Donnell (Mick McCarthy), and the relatable interfering of Vera (Anna Marie Boyle), there was never a dull moment on the stage.

The Players

                The play opens on a terrifically bad date – Larry’s companion Fidelma (Vanessa Anderson) is the exact sort of lady that every man fears taking out. The humour truly begins almost instantly – the classic gag of a chair being pulled out from beneath Fidelma begins a true laughter fest which spans all three acts, and it’s quickly compounded by an extremely grumpy waitress, Nuala, (Geralyn Gallagher) who embodies all that we associate with bad customer service, and the introduction of Carmel Doherty (Suzanne Roddy), a divorcee who seems to be the complete opposite of everything that Fidelma has to offer.

                In Act 2, the audience are treated to some wonderful examples of dramatic irony – and it doesn’t disappoint. Vera’s ‘help’ combined with Mick’s well-intentioned reveals lead to an extremely entertaining conclusion to the play in Act 3 – the introduction of Larry’s sister Freda (Cáit Deane) and her husband Camillus (Steve Wilson) adding yet another layer of humour to the production, and the misguided attempts by Carmel to make Larry voice his feelings ensure that the audience is in stitches right to the very last second.

                It is of course, important to note the work that went on behind the scenes. The set  and prop design, the sound, and the lighting were all extremely impressive, and the amount of thought that went into seamless transitions between scenes was obvious – with such a small group, it could have been considered impossible, yet the Players made it look easy. This was truly a feat of organisation, management, and of course, teamwork. The sense of community between the cast and crew was undeniable.

                Overall, I was delighted with the performance. The Lisacul Players are definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to theatre, leaving the audience with a production which will surely stick in the mind, and certainly with a huge amount of anticipation for next year’s performance. Topping this year’s play seems impossible – but as the Players have proven, there’s no such thing.