Rural Tipperary Village Promoting Community Spirit

Set in the lower end of the Lower Ormond area, Aglish Village may be small in size & a bit off the beaten track, but it is huge on community spirit.  As the Celtic Tiger went into hibernation throughout Europe the residents of Aglish sprang to life as they endeavoured to provide much needed services & social activity to their rural village. Aglish Residents Development Committee formed in 2008 with the intention of looking at what the needs of the area were & seeing how they could be addressed.  At a series of public meetings the residents expressed their concern over the local playground which was in a state of disrepair &  was a risk to young children wanting to play there.  At the same time North Tipperary County Council had plans to use the ground to install a Water Treatment Plant.  Consultations between ARDC & NTCC took place & agreement was reached that a portion of the ground would be leased to the community for use as a Village Park.  Obviously the next step was to source funding & with the assistance of North Tipperary LEADER Partnership & a fundraising campaign by the committee funds were put in place.  The Village Park was officially opened in April 2010 & was voted into the top 10 of Tipperary’s Hidden Gems in 2011. Next on the list was to address the issue of the street surface & again with the assistance of North Tipperary County Council the street was resurfaced & also new footpaths installed.
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Having received such positive support from within the community itself & the surrounding areas & seeing the positive social impact of having a Village Park with safe access it was decided to once again consult with the residents of the area.  The next project that was decided upon was the restoration of an old schoolhouse for use as a Village Hall.  The Aglish Old School Project Committee was formed & a lease agreement was reached with Borrisokane Parish Council who held ownership of the old school.  Once again with the assistance of NTLP & a very successful fundraising campaign the restoration became a reality. Aglish Village Hall was officially opened during the Aglish Stepping Stones Feile last August.  To-date the hall has hosted numerous events including dinner dances, concerts, meetings and private functions and is providing a much needed social centre for this rural community.
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Some of the attendance at Stepping Stones Feile Open Air Concert

Some of the attendance at Stepping Stones Feile Open Air Concert

When the Gathering Ireland 2013 initiative was announced, ARDC thought it would be an ideal opportunity to invite past residents back to the area to see for themselves how the village had developed over the last number of years and began planning the inaugural Aglishcloghane Stepping Stones Feile for the August Bank Holiday Weekend. The Feile saw many people return to the village for the weekend to join in a celebration of community spirit & enjoy the many amenities & facilities that the Lower Ormond area has to offer. It was great to see old friends reacquainting over the two days & new friendships being formed between former & present residents of the area.  The weekend would not have been such a success had it not been for the support of North Tipperary LEADER Partnership, North Tipperary County Council, their many sponsors & most importantly the community of Aglish and they would like to extend their sincere appreciation to one and all.

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Over the past number of months, through the FAS Community Employment Scheme, work has commenced in the local graveyard which has seen the beautiful stonework being cleared of ivy & overgrowth.  During the course of the work, old headstones have been uncovered & it is hoped that over time these & other headstones in disrepair in the graveyard can be repaired & restored.  It is also planned to have all headstone inscriptions recorded & made available for anyone tracing their ancestors. Planning permission has also been granted from North Tipperary County Council for the installation of footpaths & street lighting & it is hoped to commence these works before the year end.
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Through their involvement with Ireland Reaching Out ARDC have received a number of enquiries from people living abroad, looking to trace their ancestors from the Aglish area.  One of the enquirers, tracing their family tree of John Quinlan (Born 1811) & Mary Quigley (Born 1815) who married in 1841, has already made plans to travel to Ireland from Pennsylvania this September with her family & intends to spend some time in the area, touring around the locality.   ARDC are currently researching the Quinlan family for this lady & if anyone has any information that they think may be helpful please make contact by email at aglishcloghane@irelandxo.com or by phone at 087-6005417.
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The residents of Aglish have definitely proved that by working together a community can achieve against the odds and that the Celtic Tiger is not a requirement for success, all that’s needed is Community Spirit.
Aglish Residents Development Committee will hold a Fun Table Quiz night in The Village Inn, Aglish on Saturday 22nd February at 9pm. Entry Fee is €40 for Table of 4.  The prize for the winning table is a Boat Trip on Lough Derg for 8 people with lunch included.  There will also be a Raffle on the night for other great prizes. All proceeds from the night will go towards the continued development of the village & its environs.

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