... and green, blue and purple! A community driven scheme has seen the village get a multi-coloured makeover which so far has resulted in 21 buildings getting an whole new look, writes Aisling Meath.
‘DYNAMIC Drimoleague,’ best describes the village’s new vibe which has seen key buildings get a bright new look.
A village enhancement scheme has so far resulted in 21 buildings being painted in vivid colours, with a further 32 due to get the treatment next year. The main road through the village has also recently been resurfaced while 17 flower stands have been placed around the village.
Drimolegue Community Development Association, with support from the local Tidy Towns group, initiated the scheme and fundraising has been ongoing by the local community, helped by a county council grant.
Alan Kingston of the award-winning Glenilen Farm said that daring choices by lots of home and business owners had really paid off.
‘It’s interesting how colour lifts the tone of a village. The Methodist Church building has come into its own with its trendy blue and yellow makeover, retaining its traditional look but allowing colour to enchance its original design. More importantly is that the Church remains relevant, not only in stand out colour but also in meeting the needs of the community,’ he said.
Artist Noël O’Callaghan and her partner Douglas Henderson are turning part of their premises, formerly Murphy’s pub, into a cultural space to be known as ‘Kube’ and were delighted with their makeover.
Mark Kiely also loves the transformation of his premises ‘The Drimolegue Inn’ and is currently refurbishing the interior function room as well.
The painting scheme offered local residents a reduction off the price of paint from Dulux and advice from colour consultant Rita O’Driscoll.
Rita said: ‘Irish villages were known for their dynamic colours but in recent years many have played it safe by picking yellows and rusts from a pre-mixed range. I am passionate about encouraging people to select more dynamic colours. Streets should be vibrant places.’
Kathleen Keane, chairperson of the Drimolegue Community Development Association, with Ann O’ Farrell secretary, Mary O’Driscoll treasurer, Peter Dunican project manager and Tidy Towns volunteers John Keohane treasurer, Deirdre Tuohy and Gerry Tuohy chairperson, and Barry Deane, with several other volunteers, have donated their time to bring this and other various projects to improve Drimoleague to fruition including the restoration of the Famine Memorial and upgrading their community hall.
Kathleen, chairperson of the DCDA, has been running the Curiosity Shop in the village for the past 10 years where she has been raising funds for Bantry Hospital, Cancer Connect, Co- Action, Cope Foundation, Rapid Response and the heart and lung transplant unit in the Mater Hospital, Dublin. Recent fundraising efforts have been directed towards improvements to the hall.
‘The community hall is central to village life,’ said Katheen.
‘We have already repaired the roof and porch and we have plans for new kitchen upgrades. We were very pleased to donate €1,000 to purchase an industrial dishwasher for the hall and I’d like to thank Sean O’ Driscoll, of Glen Dimplex and the Ludgate Hub for his generous donation of a new clock.’
Along with volunteers Maureen Mc Carthy, Mary O’Brien, Patricia Collins, Catherine Ross, Shiela Butler, Mary O’Driscoll, Deirdre Connors, Katherine O’Driscoll and Marian Keane, she continues to extend a warm welcome to all who visit the shop, and confirmed plans to continue the painting scheme next year now that the road through the village has been resurfaced.
‘I’d also like to thank Ann Daly who does a fantastic job decorating the windows in the shop and Peter Dunican, who worked so hard on the Village Enhancement Scheme, coming up with great ideas, working with other volunteers and helping to pick the colour schemes with Rita for the village,’ said Kathleen.
Peter, a landscape designer from Birr in Co Offaly moved to the village in 2011 to make it his home with wife Shirley Deane from Drimolegue and their two sons.
He found that volunteering in the local community is a great way of getting to know people.
He is particularly looking forward to continuing the development of the new community garden, along with other volunteers including John Keohane from Tidy Towns and confirmed that work is due to continue in the Spring.