When the Monksland Community Center was established 20 years ago to serve the sprawling South Roscommon hinterland, even the people behind this innovative project believed it would be such a success. could not imagine.
Just before Christmas, this vibrant community hub celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special Mass by Father John Daignan. A buffet and birthday cake was then arranged to celebrate the milestone.
All representatives of the local community attended the celebration, and there was also a display of crochet and vintage wedding and bridesmaid dresses, which received a lot of attention and admiration from the large number of attendees.
Since the Community Center was established, there has been tremendous support from the local business community for the Sealys Cash and Carry raffle at their 20th anniversary celebrations. Des and Mary Carroll and Kennedy’s Monksland are among those who donated prizes. Supervalu sponsored all cakes and desserts at the buffet, and Athlone Credit Union made a special presentation at the community center from the community fund.
The Monksland Community Center is run by a community for the community by a core group of dedicated volunteers. This makes it one of the most unique facilities of its kind in the country and contributes in no small way to today’s success story.
The center was originally converted from a shop unit into a community center by the Roscommon County Council in 2002. The Board and Volunteers are deeply grateful to Mr. Eamon He Ocuive, who was Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs at the time. With access to €10,000 in public funds, we were able to start operating.
The center is part of the Monksland Community Development Project, which also includes the adjacent Kushla Park playground. In order for the local community to be in a position to sign the lease for the community center and Kushura Park, the local residents’ association, the Monksland and District Residents Association (MDRA), has signed a contract under its current name, Monksland Community Co., Ltd. (MCL). . His Noel Feeley of Roscommon Sports Partnership has been steadfast in his encouragement and support in the process of changing from a neighborhood association to a limited liability company.
MCL’s objective is to secure the necessary facilities for Monksland, one of the fastest growing residential areas in the country today. During the life of the local community center, Monksland grew from a small rural hinterland to have her second largest population in Roscommon County, second only to the town of Roscommon itself. About 7,000 people currently live in the area.
Originally set up to serve areas of Monksland and the District, the volunteers who run the local community center say the “District” can be expanded as far as anyone wants, so anyone can use the facilities. I can do it.
The community center is heavily bussed daily and is open year-round. The scale of local groups and organizations that use this center is impressive. These include the Monksland and Kushra Active Retirement Group, the Monksland Women’s Group, the Anna’s Crochet Group, and the Conway Dance Academy, which meet weekly.
Tusla Family Support Monksland has also been providing activities, courses and valuable advice to the community for many years.
GRETB and LWETB have held education and recreation classes at the center over the years, including health care, child care, English lessons, diet and nutrition, upcycling and more.
Roscommon Women’s Network has participated, contributed and hosted at the Monksland Center for many years.
For years, Brothers of Charity/Open Door, Muriosa and St Hilda Services have used the facility and participated in weekly programs.
The Athlone Forget Me Not Choir, run by Claire McNally and Anne-Marie Hines, also meets twice a month and provides refreshments to all who attend.
The Roscommon Youth Services Foroige Club meets on Thursday nights to provide supervised social activities for young people ages 10 and up. Also, his Seamus Tynan, run by the Athlone Youths Darts Academy- has had great success at the centre, recently being represented by members of the club traveling to Gibraltar. Ireland in a major darts tournament.
Monksland Mindfulness Sessions / Sahaja YOGA by Vivek and Ohran gather on Thursday evenings to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Ready Steady Play takes place on Saturday mornings. Children and adults participate and promote child development through play and music hosted by Jo and Christian Phelan.
Infinity Friends, a social group aimed at youth on the autism spectrum, wants to meet on Sunday mornings to expand their New Year’s activities.
For many years the Monksland Community Center has been a multi-religious and cultural facilitator. Each month’s Mass is followed by tea and chat, and major events of the Christian calendar are also celebrated with special attention.
Members of the Serbian Orthodox Church regularly attend masses celebrated by priests. M. Laden will also host additional celebrations of culture and religion
Elsewhere, African women’s groups have been attending the Center over the years, adding the most positive energy that is always welcome.
Community centers also serve other cultural and religious groups in the region who celebrate important calendar days throughout the year such as Diwali, Eid and Ramadan celebrations. These events consistently draw large numbers of attendees, demonstrating that Monksland has become a diverse and multicultural community.
Volunteers and the board praise people in the community for their initiative and enthusiasm and encourage entrepreneurs by giving very favorable rates for the use of facilities so that they can start their plans/business ideas/hobbies. Many great initiatives that started in local community centers have now moved to larger venues and are a source of pride for those who run them.
The positive interaction between the people who run the Monksland Community Center and the local community is greatly appreciated and they are supported by the Roscommon County Council, locally elected representatives, agencies, local groups and sports organizations. , local businesses and residents for their support and personal opinion for their continued support. Over the years, it has had a very positive impact on the success of projects.
Affiliated with Monksland Community CLG, the Kushra Park Sports Ground seats up to 500 people of all ages each week and is home to Monksland United FC and St Joseph’s FC.
Monksland Community CLG continues its efforts to upgrade its facilities at Cushla Park as finances permit, recently installing a new shower system, reclaiming land to further enhance the facility, and increasing the number of visitors each week. Yes.
The enhancement and maintenance of the site is ongoing and we would like to express our deep appreciation to the St Peter’s Parish Community Employment Project workers who manage the site and the daily office administration staff employed under this. diagram.
The Monksland Astroturf is also open to the public, catering to many clubs, regulars and casual bookings.
The success of the Monksland Community Project, which incorporates a community center and Kushura Park Sportsground, proves that the spirit of community is alive and well and continues to thrive in what was once a very small rural area of South Roscommon. . May it last long.