Strokestown 2040: Launch of a visionary plan for the town’s future

On Friday evening, April 12th, the Strokestown Town Team unveiled their ambitious ‘Strokestown 2040: A Town Centre First Plan’ at a community gathering. The plan, which has been two years in the making and is funded by a €100,000 grant, aims to guide the sustainable development of Strokestown over the next 16/17 years.

Jonathan Cassidy, a key member of the Strokestown Town Team and advocate for the plan, spoke to the Roscommon People on this issue. Reflecting on the recent launch, he outlined his hopes for the future of the project and the benefits that are already emerging.

The event featured speeches from several notable figures, including Councillor John Keogh, Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council; Christabelle Feeney, Responsible Business Lead at William Fry; Shane Lynskey, Chairperson of the Strokestown Town Team; and Sarah Flynn from the Brothers of Charity.

Shane Lynskey began proceedings with a poignant recital of a poem by his sister, reminiscing about her childhood in Strokestown. He highlighted the significant changes in the town’s layout and usage over the past 40 years. Mr Lynskey, a well-known and respected member of the Strokestown community, explained that the streets where “we played as children” have been transformed, reflecting the town’s evolving needs.

In his address, Councillor Keogh focused on the youth, particularly Leaving Cert students: “The Strokestown 2040 plan is not just a blueprint for physical development but a promise to our younger generation that their future is right here”.

Christabelle Feeney talked about inclusion and the participatory approach of the plan: “It’s refreshing to see a plan that has grown out of conversations with our youth, discussing not just what is, but what could be”. She also offered her support to students considering careers in social inclusion, law, or politics.

Sarah Flynn provided a personal perspective on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in Strokestown. She stressed the issues with parking and accessibility that exacerbate the difficulties for those with mobility issues. “While parking spaces are plentiful, the real problem lies in how these spaces are used and the overall accessibility of the town,” Ms Flynn noted.

The event also highlighted various upcoming projects under the Strokestown 2040 plan, including initiatives like the Dark Skies Project, which aims to enhance night skies by lowering streetlight heights, and plans for a community hub in a historically significant, currently derelict site.

 

Shane Tiernan, the local authority’s CEO, expressed his enthusiasm about the positive atmosphere of the event: “Tonight was a celebration of community, vision, and proactive change, something we’re deeply committed to”.

The meeting concluded with discussions on the ongoing efforts and future plans to continue improving Strokestown, aligning with community needs and ensuring inclusive growth. The next town meeting is scheduled for May 9th at Strokestown Community Centre, and residents are invited to join in shaping the town’s future.

The Strokestown 2040 plan is available for review on the Roscommon County Council’s website and on strokestown.ie. According to the organisers, in an effort to reduce environmental impact and costs, printed copies have been limited.

Mr Cassidy summarised that the community’s involvement and feedback at the launch indicate a strong, positive response to the initiatives proposed, setting a hopeful tone for the continued development and enrichment of Strokestown as a vibrant and inclusive community.