No island hibernates in the winter. Seán Ó Flaithearta, Inis Mór, Ireland, talks about the work being carried out by the voluntary community committee in updating the islands infrastructure, such as the community centre and island roads.
Coiste Forbartha Fhearann an Choirce is busy trying to improve our community centre, a stone’s throw from the great Celtic fort Dún Aonghasa. After years of ball-playing, at our Centre, the slates fly off with gales forcing us to take a look at replacing the old slates. With broken and ill-fitting windows our priority this year is to replace the single pane aluminium windows installed in ’78.
We provide Irish Language courses for teenagers from many parts of Ireland who come to us during the summer. Our numbers have declined in recent years and with non-viable numbers we need to upgrade our educational facilities and structures to survive. This year our Centre has to install a fire alarm and emergency lighting, so we have to add those as well as the new windows. Improving our classrooms and sporting facilities for the Coláiste and for the community is our aim.
We are also upgrading our courses for our students to ensure that the students are assisted effectively by teachers to learn the language structures required to become bilingual. Our courses are full immersion – and supports are required to upgrade our facilities on our wonderful island.
We have been operating on a voluntary basis as a committee since 1984 and our biggest project was to build a wall at the beach to fight coastal erosion and allow access to our beach. We gained Blue Flag status to indicate how clean the water is. We also promoted many other projects which are too numerous to mention. At present we are deciding on the way forward. While our committee has contributed effectively to community development over the years – we are hoping for a new dawn – we are delighted to hear that Galway County Council have received funding to improve our roads and access to sites that are of historical, archaeological and Christian interest.
We hope for a fair wind to achieve our aims this winter!
Beannactaí o Sheáin ar Inis Mór