Tully Mill restoration set to ‘generate’ great interest

A LOCAL community group is getting set to restore the historic 18th century waterwheel at Tully Mill, with the project expected to generate both electricity and a renewed interest in local history.
The ambitious restoration project by Killesher Community Development Association (KCDA), based in Florencecourt, will include a range of community activities focused on celebrating the rich industrial heritage of milling and manufacturing of the surrounding areas.
The Community Restoration of Tully Mill Waterwheel project is being funded through a £98,600 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
As part of the restoration, equipment to generate electricity will be installed at the wooden wheel, while original millstones from the site will also be incorporated into a heritage display that will inform visitors of the history of the mill complex.
The year-long project will also include educational activities, involving children from local primary schools, and volunteer activities. A series of community talks and celebration events will also be held throughout the year.
Originally forming part of the historic Florence Court demesne, the Tully Mill corn mill buildings were rescued from dereliction in 1998 by the KCDA and converted into a restaurant that is now popular with diners across the county.
Chairman of KCDA David Sheridan project was all about generating awareness of local history.
“The restoration of the waterwheel and the planned community activities will showcase its potential to shape our local economic and community wellbeing and encourage visitors and residents alike to engage with our unique, vibrant and living heritage,” said Mr Sheridan.
“This initiative will take this process a step further and provide further opportunities to generate greater awareness and enthusiasm about the local linen, scutch, flour and sawmills, which played an important role in the industrial legacy of southwest Fermanagh.”
Project coordinator Barney Devine added, “The programme is designed to raise awareness of the working waterwheel and other advanced manufacturing practices undertaken at the Tully Mill complex over the last 250 years.
“During the wheel restoration phase, children and local people will be involved in education and arts activities with an intergenerational reminiscence programme involving senior citizens and schools from Killesher, Florencecourt and Kinawley areas. Oral history will also be recorded and made digitally accessible through the project.”

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