Cashel’s persistence pays off

The community in Cashel celebrated a very special day on Saturday at the official opening of the new over £400,000 extension to their sparkling Community Centre.
Despite two initial refusals for funding for the extension, the Cashel Community Association made it a third time lucky, as speaker after speaker praised their sheer belief and tenacity, especially from secretary Louise Leonard and treasurer Pauline Carson at a very well attended official opening.
The clear message was that “no does not exist in the vocabulary of the Cashel Community Association”. And Cashel was only one of 30 successful applicants out of a total of 338 applications from all over the North and the cash came from the Big Lottery funded Space and Place Programme.
The extension includes an extra room that can cater for up to 50 people, a kitchen and medical facility and a brand new car park that can cater for 50 cars.
Anthony McGrath, Cashel Community Association Chairman, said changes in society had combined to reduce the opportunity for mixing in Cashel: “For many the centre represents the only guarantee that cross community contact will persist. The centre or hub is an open house for all. It has come to symbolize the integrative sentiment of the Cashel Community.
“The need of the community had to be addressed and I am delighted to say your wishes have come true”.
Council Chairman Harold Thornton said he was delighted to be there for a very special day.
He said he was pleased to be joined by a delegation from County Leitrim led by their chairperson Sean McGowan.
“Cashel Community Association has strong links with Leitrim also. It has strong cross community links also going back for many years. Since they have worked hard to improve the lives of the people in the area and I commend you for your drive, your commitment and, not least, your perseverance.”
Lauri McCusker of the Fermanagh Trust paid tribute to the determination of the local community in achieving their goals.
“The drive and enthusiasm and the motivation to make this happen is remarkable. Our agencies are here to help but it is only because, of you, only because of your endeavor and your drive to make a home within this community that this happens. This is the heart of the community where you come to break down that social isolation and loneliness to become empowered and educated and you people made that happen.”

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