Volunteer ethos to the fore as Rosemount community initiatives unveiled

Members of the Rosemount playground committee are pictured at the official unveiling of the facility on Saturday afternoon.  Left to right, Anita Kelly, Bernie Winters, Anita Keane and James Buckley

Members of the Rosemount playground committee are pictured at the official unveiling of the facility on Saturday afternoon. Left to right, Anita Kelly, Bernie Winters, Anita Keane and James Buckley

Following numerous months of cohesive planning and a working spirit of unity, it proved a landmark community occasion in the village of Rosemount on Saturday as two social initiatives were formally unveiled.

With the younger generation very much to the fore in the community’s thoughts, the opening of the superbly appointed playground, which will raise long lasting smiles on all who use the facility, is the culmination of a dedicated ethos from a committee who worked with this sole focus on their minds.

Speaking at the opening, committee member, Bernie Winters, expressed her delight with the unified community efforts which enabled the playground to come to fruition.

“Two years ago the playground committee was formed and with great support from LEADER (who funded 80 percent of the project ), Westmeath County Council, Rosemount GAA, local businesses and the various fundraising efforts of the community, we now have a playground of which we can be very proud. It is very much a positive development for the younger generation within our community and one which will enhance the lives of those that use the playground,” Bernie remarked.

Scenes of unbridled youthful enthusiasm soon unfolded as local Westmeath camogie players and All Ireland winners, Joanne and Mairead McCormack, officially cut the ribbon to mark the playground open!

The development of the enclosed seated Social Initiative stand as it overlooks the pristine Rosemount GAA pitch, is a novel venture and very much an inaugural build of its ilk.

Boasting sixteen seats, the stand is the brianchild of the Rosemount GAA Social Initiative Group which plays an active role within the community leading the way in organising social activities and events.

Addressing the gathering, John Burke, noted that it was a reflective mark from community member, Joe Keane, which was the catalyst for the enclosed stand development, the work on which commenced in May of this year.

Peter Keenan, Chairman, Rosemount GAA, noted the volunteer ethos which prevailed during the build, expressing his gratitude to LEADER, Westmeath County Council and Leinster Council, all of whom provided funding towards the project.

“The sense of camaraderie and togetherness was very much evident throughout the project’s development. You don’t pay volunteers because they are worthless, it is because they are priceless,” Peter emphasised.

Noting the generosity of community members, paying particular reference to PO Keenan, “the real driving force” behind the project, Peter stated that the stand was a development of which all the locality could be proud.

Social Initiative project manager, Sean Kilbride, lauded the community efforts very much noticeable as the development progressed.

“The social initiative stand reflects the values and ethos of this Rosemount community. GAA priorities are not solely focused upon winning, but catering for the community when games are not being contested and the opening of the stand today reflects on the true values and ethos of this community,” Sean commented.

In his capacity as Professor in Business and Economics at NUIG, Eamonn O’Shea, who has documented his views on many rural issues in publications, noted that the stand was “ahead of the curve”.

“What we have here is a great sense of community. I have a great belief in rural society and that sense of collective within a vibrant community, both young and old, which you have here in abundance in Rosemount,” Eamonn enthused.

The honour was bestowed upon Rosemount GAA President, Tom Darcy (and oldest member of the community ), to cut the ribbon before being the inaugural person to take a seat in the social initiative stand.


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