Last Saturday night in the Glendalough Hotel almost one hundred and fifty people sat down to a sumptuous meal as part of the Ballinacor Community Project’s fund raising endeavours.
Just ten years ago some local people in the valley of Glenmalure came up with the idea that it would be a worthwhile addition to the community if there were an outdoor facility to cater for all ages. And so the seeds for the Ballinacor Community Park were sown.
Ten years later, there is a full size football pitch, a tennis court and a basketball court, all surrounded by a three quarter kilometre boardwalk. Every cent of this development was raised through the hard-working committee, from organising draws to auctions, from racing ducks to holding, raffles, from holding candlelight walks in Avondale House to staging table quizzes, and even to holding a mock wedding!
At all times the committee lobbied various bodies – for example, from the National Lottery to Wicklow County Council and Wicklow Rural Partnership. The result is what has been achieved to date.
But this committee is not prepared to bask in the glory of its successes, even in these times of austerity and recession. Phase Three of the project, the construction of changing rooms and a function room, along with ancillary works, is now well underway.
At Saturday’s gathering, guest speaker Christy Kennelly spoke about the tradition in rural Ireland of the Meitheal whereby neighbours would come together to help one another to gather the harvest or sow the seed.
Far from being a thing of the past, the Meitheal is well and truly alive in the twenty-first century in the Valley of Glenmalure: neighbour helping neighbour for the common good.
Indeed the slideshow that was playing in the background captured the park from its earliest days to where it is now, the vast majority of which was accomplished by the generosity and voluntary efforts of the local community.
If you have not been to the Ballinacor Community Park, take a trip out there. You will not be disappointed at what you will witness!
The next fundraising venture of this amazing committee takes place this Sunday, 10th November, when the annual Candlelight Walk will be held in the grounds of Avondale House.
If you want to experience something special on a dull and dreary November evening, come along to Avondale House and discover some old-fashioned magic along a one kilometre trail.
Walk at your own pace beginning between 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. The cost is €15 per car or €5 per individual. Complimentary refreshments will be served afterwards All proceeds will go towards the completion of Phase Three of this magnificent project.