Community spirit in Fourmilehouse praised

Pauline Scott Eight new semi-detached homes for the elderly at Cuan Mhuire, Fourmilehouse were officially opened by Deputy Michael Finneran recently. The official opening of the houses was the culmination of years of effort by a local voluntary housing association. Bishop Christopher Jones performed a blessing of the development at a function that took place in a community hall, which forms part of the new housing development. Speaking at the blessing, Bishop Jones spoke of the warm welcome that one always receives in Fourmilehouse and said that it says a lot about the spirit which underpins much of the good work done by the dynamic local community. Fr. Raymond Browne recalled a conference on housing, which was held in Kilbride Community Centre some years ago. He recalled a speaker from Limerick County Council who outlined how 20 parishes in Limerick had undertaken social housing schemes and the generous government incentives that are available for such schemes.    ‘This was marvellous news,’ said Fr. Browne, who added that people in Fourmilehouse had been inspired by the great work done on social housing in Tulsk. He noted that the first Dåil had stressed the need to provide for young people and the elderly. ‘This is the beginning of what we hope will be a high standard of care for the elderly in the parish,’ said Fr. Browne, who added that Derrane Resource Centre is now organising personal assistants for elderly people in the parish where necessary. Concluding, he thanked all involved in the development, including the Parish Council who backed the scheme, Albert Looby of AOL design who designed the scheme and Brian Keane of Brian Keane Construction, who was responsible for construction. He also thanked staff in the housing section of Roscommon County Council for their co-operation. Albert Looby of AOL design thanked the committee for choosing to work with AOL design and spoke of the background work that goes into the development of such schemes. A representative of Brian Keane Construction also congratulated the local committee of their achievements and paid tribute to the subcontractors involved in the work, many of whom were local. Deputy Mayor Cllr. Tony Ward paid tribute to the work undertaken by the local social housing committee and noted that funding was provided by the Department of the Environment and Local Government and also the national lottery. ‘This facility will benefit the local community for years to come,’ said Cllr. Ward, who noted that it could not have gone ahead without the co-operation of a number of local organisations.  Bernie Kearney, a local community activist and member of Muintir na Tire, outlined the history of the project. Deputy Denis Naughten also spoke and praised the community spirit so evident in Fourmilehouse. In particular he praised the homely nature of the community facility, which is part of the development, saying it is a lovely focus for the residents and for people coming to visit. He acknowledged the role of Roscommon County Council officials. The scheme was officially opened by Deputy Michael Finneran.  He spoke of his long association with the area and praised the work of Fr. Ray Browne and others. He also noted the involvement of local businesses in the design and build of the scheme. ‘The voluntary and corporate sector have risen to the challenge in relation to social housing,’ said Deputy Finneran. He added that the local community in Fourmilehouse deserves great praise for their work, which builds on their local knowledge of the needs of the community. The location and design of the houses was also praised by Deputy Finneran. Concluding, he said, ‘This project is a great example of what a good community can provide,’ and noted that assistance had been provided through the Voluntary Housing Capital Assistance Scheme.