While driving home from work this evening, as I approached the Mart Road, as it’s known locally in Drumshanbo, I had a broad smile on my face. Traditional Irish Music consists of many songs and dance tunes that have been passed on from one singer or musician to another, over generations and usually within families or communities.
Mixed Blessings - Kevin Blessing
As I drove by, I witnessed many of the numerous locals and visitors of Drumshanbo making full use of and enjoyment from the newly installed outdoor gym, which has been passed onto our families and community of Drumshanbo. There is something about the pleasure of music and fitness that go hand in hand and what a week to have this wonderful innovative project ready for use to locals and visitors alike.
This gym was the brainchild of the Jerome McKiernan Memorial Committee, with the assistance and cooperation of former Councillor Enda McGloin and Leitrim County Council.
You may have noticed the collaborative work that was required been completed over the last number of weeks. Engineer Padraig McShera of Leitrim County Council provided the ground and grounds work for this project. The people of Drumshanbo and all those whom contributed so generously to the Jerome Mc Kiernan weekend, are responsible for the monies collected in order to purchase the varied twelve piece installation of Outdoor Fitness Equipment, two of which are wheelchair accessible.
Not only did the monies raised on the weekend of the 14th and 15th of June accomplish this class Gym, other beneficiaries were; Childhood Days, who are an out of school service providing care and activities for children with disability. Childhood Days received a bubble tube for their multi-sensory room and they also received a hydraulic two seater couch. Such equipment will provide much enjoyment and assistance to the young service users and staff of the wonderful Childhood Day’s centre at Laird House Drumshanbo.
Leitrim Calling, the free, friendly, confidential telephone call service which reaches out to older and vulnerable people in our town and surrounding towns and villages within our county also benefitted from the Jerome McKiernan fundraising weekend. The Jerome McKiernan committee have recently equipped their office with a computer, office chairs, storage unit, scanner and fax machine. Such equipment will provide essential support to this much required service.
The Jerome McKiernan Committee also purchased a new computer for St Ciaran’s Centre in Carrick-on-Shannon, which provides pre-school day and respite services for people with intellectual disabilities. This top of the range computer features access adaptable programs which will no doubt provide many hours of enjoyment in St Ciaran’s for many years to come.
Once again, huge crowds came out in their droves to support this annual fundraising weekend. As has seemed to be the case since its inception back in 2012, the sun has always shone throughout the Jerome Mc Kiernan fundraising weekend.
Every committee questions and has doubts, fears and worries prior to the hosting of their annual event, nevertheless, year on year, people from far and wide have witnessed and appreciated the immense work and completion of worthy, worthwhile and beneficial projects successfully undertaken by Fiona McKiernan and her hard working committee.
Sceptics like I need not worry and are very re-assured when one can witness at first hand the fundraising projects undertaken and completed and the beneficial effects they have had on people’s lives, such as the highly complimented Family Room at the oncology unit of Sligo Regional Hospital, The Garden Room at Wood Haven House for MS on The Strandhill Road, Sligo, and now the above mentioned projects.
As you all well know, I am a very proud Leitrim man, and I am more proud of the people of Drumshanbo, especially those of the Jerome McKiernan Committee; the work they have completed in the last three years has been immeasurable, the number of people they have helped I doubt they will ever realise - the extent or the enormity of the impact they have made.
While I am so proud of them all, I think the biggest thank you goes to you the person reading this article; perhaps you put a euro or two towards some of the fundraising weekends over the past three years or complimented the hard work, or were a service user and or recognised the need for such equipment and services.
The moral of this story is that people can, amidst great adversity and their own challenges in times of sadness and loss, make a huge difference to the lives of others and leave a lasting legacy.