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Giving it a twirl in Kilmaine

South of the border

Giving it a twirl in Kilmaine

Willie McHugh

The text from Mary Jackson arrived doing cartwheels and jigs of delight. Another big scoop for Tacú Family Resource Centre and Mary wanted to share the good tidings with all and sundry. Ballinrobe’s Men’s Shed had just secured the use of the vacant parochial house in the town to conduct their activities. Paraic Flannery is one of the driving forces behind Ballinrobe Men’s Shed. When SOTB heard Paraic was in the cockpit we knew it was only a matter of time before this venture took flight.
Tacú opened its doors in 2003 providing support and services to people in Ballinrobe and surrounding areas. Governed by a voluntary committee representing the local community under the chairmanship of Kilmaine’s Patsy Shaughnessy Tacú is a walking rather than talking shop. Mary Jackson is Project Co-Ordinator. Her remit is pulling all the different strands together and working with the various groups ensuring every need is catered for. A facilitator the yanks call it but let them.
The Men’s Shed is the newest file bulging Mary’s ‘to do’ tray. She already has blueprint to guide her down the garden path. In the past Tacú identified a need for a youth facility in the area. In 2010 they got the premises of the old Maple Hall in Bowgate Street. Renovating it to its current state cost €450,000. Leader funded Phase One to the tune of €250,000. The National Lottery came in with €120,000 and Tacú were left with the work in progress of funding the outstanding debt themselves. You can do your own sums. But they are getting there and today the building serves as a drop-in centre for young people in the 18-25 bracket. It’s an alternative from all the other distractions young people with idle time on their hands are presented with.    
Tacú’s plan is to extend it into a full-time youth café with a view to branching out the service to encompass a wider catchment area of Cong, The Neale, Roundfort and Kilmaine.
Trish Feerick is the Development Worker who, along with Monica Horan, Collette Concannon, Patrick O’Hara and Aisling Doran coordinates all the different activities. But a quorum group of adults advising youngsters what they should be doing it is not. The members have the input and it is they who decide what services the centre provide. The day of ‘why don’t you do what we did at your age’ sermon is long gone.
Things happen there. Last year Colleen Maye succeeded in securing a small funding from Vodafone for the ‘Think Big Project’. Colleen ran a programme promoting positive mental health among young people.  
As part of their fundraising The Maple Youth Centre are holding a fashion Show in Kilmaine Community Centre on Friday night next. First model will be twirling and prancing down the catwalk of Kilmaine Hall at 8pm on the button. Not eight o’clock Kilmaine time because Monica is adamant about punctuality being strictly adhered to.
Fashion is provided by Tierney’s and Vaughan Shoes, Deirdre Biggins, Ken Murphy’s Ladies Wear, all Ballinrobe; Beverley Hills and TRex, Castlebar; D’ la Mode, Golden Fashions and Philips Men’s Wear, Claremorris; and Hidden Closet and Born Clothing, Tuam.
Expect to see a few new modelling careers launched on the night. It’s fairly hush as to who will strut their stuff but negotiations by way of cajoling with a few local footballers are at an advanced stage.
Main prize in a big raffle is a night in Lisloughrey Lodge. The Hungry Monk, The Crows Nest,  Cong, The Pyramid Restaurant, The Neale, Martin Murphy’s and Klassy Kuts, Ballinrobe are sponsoring prizes too.
The Maple Centre does good things for the youth of the area. Your support on the night would be the best twirl of all.  

The Border Ramblers
Over 300 people stirred themselves out at an unearthly hour to stroll down Ramolin for Shrule’s Darkness into Light Walk in aid of Pieta House. Sinéad Davin has attached some lovely photos of Shrule before dawn to their event page on Facebook and the organisers have raised €4,200 so far.