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Keen to show off their village

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SPREADING THE WORD  A still from the video released by Keenagh Community Council promoting their village as a place to live.

North Mayo village Keenagh release promotional video

Edwin McGreal

The people of Keenagh are offering a céad míle fáilte to any prospective residents.
The tranquil village in north-west Mayo have launched a novel video campaign to pitch themselves to potential new families.
And since the video went online last Friday, the local Keenagh Development Community Council have been busy with enquiries.
“We’ve got a great reaction to the video. As of now (Monday evening) we’ve had over 30,000 views, thousands of comments and a good few people looking to enquire about living here,” Brendan Lavelle, Chairperson of Keenagh Development Community Council told The Mayo News.
Keenagh is in the parish of Crossmolina and is on the main Castlebar to Belmullet road, some 25 minutes from the towns of Castlebar and Westport.
It could, says Brendan Lavelle, be the perfect sanctuary for those looking to escape city life.
“You could be in the car for twice as long in Dublin as you would be here getting to Castlebar or Westport and you’re living in a beautiful area with a great local school, low teacher to pupil ratios and a friendly, active, safe and relaxed community. It is a brilliant place to rear a family,” said Mr Lavelle.
The video was recorded by Fergus Sweeney from Blacksod and uses videos of many of Keenagh’s scenic landscapes combined with interviews with locals to showcase the village’s attractiveness.
Among those interviewed is local parent Sheila Moffatt who sings the praises of the local national school, Scoil Neifinn while newly-arrived resident Rick Adams talks about how the area drew him away from his life in England.
“It is a village within easy reach of many urban parts of Mayo, yet with all the attractions of a rural community,” said Brendan Lavelle.
He cited several locals who are able to work from home due to ‘top class broadband’ and said the proactive community council are willing to meet any prospective newcomers and show them around the village and its surrounds.
There are ‘four or five’ houses to rent and ‘three or four houses for sale’, Brendan Lavelle explains with one three-bedroom bungalow selling at just €130,000.
“It is so much more affordable to live here than it is to live in cities and towns. We will show people around and they can decide then if they are interested in moving here. I’d imagine parents whose kids are in a classroom with 35 other kids and paying high rents might have enough of that life and might consider somewhere like Keenagh. If three or four families decide to do that, it’s great for a place like Keenagh,” he said.
The local school has three teachers and has had in or around 20 pupils in recent years but the local community are keen to grow that number and ensure the long-term sustainability of their school. Brendan Lavelle has two children in the school and a third starting in September.  A community run after-school service is due to commence in 2019.
He said the community council met just two weeks ago and decided to promote the area using this video promotion.
“We thought people might not know about the school or that we are so close to Castlebar. We’ve had people here move from England, Scotland and Germany over the years and they wouldn’t move back home now for love nor money. We’ve a great community here and we wanted to let people know,” he said.

MORE For more information, email keenagh@yahoo.com and a member of the community council will phone you to set up a meeting. Click here to watch the full video.

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