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2009 – Reflections on a Busy Year

Another year in the life of Glinsk Community Development Society Ltd. was celebrated at a special public meeting in Glinsk in February of this year(2009). Special guest on the night was Ciaran Mullooly of RTE fame and Gerry Thompson who has participated with Ciaran in a host of Community activities in Ballyleague.

The night featured a review of activity by the Glinsk Community group since its foundation in 1980.

Glinsk Community Council began in 1980, the Secretary recalled that Glinsk was a very different place in that year. The initial impetus for a new Community Council was the need to provide some Community facilities and there was widespread agreement on the need for a Community Centre which would serve as a ‘home for all of the community’ A small site held a derelict “Liam Mellowes Hall” which was a relict of a great community effort by an earlier generation when the Irish State was still young. Though derelict for many years it had served the community well and its walls could tell of great nights of local Drama productions and great nights when the ‘Siege of Ennis’ and the ‘Connemara set’ had echoed through the building. In 1980, the site was acquired by Glinsk Community Council and an additional site was purchased from Michael McDermott.

A huge community effort led to a mammoth task being completed and the doors opened in 1988. The red tape was cut by Fr. Tom Garvey and watching him closely were local representatives of the two main policitical parties. Glinsk was part of the Roscommon-East Galway constituency at that time and sitting T.D’s Terry Leyden and Liam Naughton were present.

The cost of the project was over £100,000 and the gallant efforts of the local community had been boosted by financial support from Dept. of Education(National Lottery), Galway Co. Council and the ‘Ireland Fund’ and the Dept. of Social Welfare.

As there was a pressing need for GAA Dressing Rooms at that time the GAA club and Glinsk Community Council joined forces so that the new centre included the required dressing rooms.

In 1988, local curate, Fr Kevin McDermott C.C. realised the huge task the Community Council had set for themselves and he knew that they had set their sights high as he said “Ah, somebody must dream dreams”

But Dreams can come true!! and a group of seven ladies were equal to the challenge when they competed for the title “Queen of the Castle” The seven ladies were Catherine Trayers, Maureen Kenny, Marie Tiernan, Kathleen Quinn, Delia Hegarty, Mary O’Boyle and Nellie Naughton. With their campaign teams, a huge ‘canvass for votes’ was set in train. This election was special so you could vote as often as you wished but each vote cost the voter.

The seven candidates trudged the highways and byways with Kathleen Quinn emerging to take the title “Queen of the Castle” but the combined effort of the ladies made a huge contribution to the finances needed to ensure that Glinsk Community Centre was built.

As we look back over the years of activity by Glinsk Community Council, we can see that the huge support and commitment of the ladies of the area was central to all Community activity.

It was a day of celebration in September 1986 as the community gathered for the turning of the first sod on the site of the new Community Centre. That first sod was lifted by the famous Galway County Hurler, Noel Lane and the site was blessed by Fr. Tom Garvey.

Musicians from Glinsk National School were on hand to celebrate the turning of the first sod in September 1986.