Gaeltacht community group win top prize
A GAELTACHT based community group that caters for young and old has won the top community award at the Cork County Mayor's Awards, held in County Hall on Tuesday evening.
Coiste Tithe Uibh Laoire Teo, based in Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh, received the highest award on the night ahead of community groups from right across the county.
Nominated by Cork County Community & Voluntary Forum, the achievements of Coiste Tithe Uibh Laoire Teo (CTUL) include building and managing Cuan Barra Community Centre, Elderly Sheltered Housing, Spraoi na Laoi childcare facility and a playground.
All members of the local community are welcome at Cuan Barra Community Centre and the facilities are used seven days a week by a wide variety of people, including a Mother and Toddler group, CoderDojo, Irish language class, CPR/AED class, doctor, nurse, chiropodist and community groups.
CTUL is a non-profit organisation, with all funding and any profits going directly back into the facilities, and it performs very valuable work in the local community.
A group from the centre are currently exhibiting their work in the 'Art-for-Older-People Exhibition - Tacaois 2014' at the Ionad Cultúrtha in Baile Mhúirne. The Tacaois Art classes for older people are held in two Day Centres in Cois Cille in Kilnamartyra and in Cuan Barra in Ballingeary, under the tutelage of artist Pauline Dodds. However, as Pauline told The Corkman as the exhibition began, the classes are about so much more than art: "We discuss current affairs and get all the local gossip while making new friends in the process!"
Coiste Tithe Uibh Laoire Teo began when a voluntary committee of local people put a plan in place and implemented it to seek funding, build, and manage Cuan Barra Community Centre. This is a multi-purpose facility in the village of Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidhwhere everything is on one site in a central, convenient location. Here, old and young can interact happily and safely.
A large number of diverse activities take place in Cuan Barra Community Centre. These include Óige na Gaeltachta camps, preparation of meals for the elderly, music classes, computer classes and various public meetings. There are rooms for the community nurse, doctor's visits, a hairdresser and even a beautician!
The facility has high level of insulation and triple glazing for easy affordable maintenance. There are beautiful murals in keeping with the rural environment and all wording is "As Gaeilge".
The group has close links with other Gaeltacht areas including Baile Bhúirne and Cuil Aodha, as well Inchigeelagh, Dunmanway and Gougane Barra and many more.
"Scriochts" are organised to combat elderly and rural isolation. In addition, a bus facility brings the elderly or people in need for meals and also brings them into Macroom once a week to go shopping, banking, to the library, and so on.
Meanwhile, its childcare and family support facility enables parents to work or seek employment with the aid of safe affordable childcare.
Public consultation to discuss local needs is an ongoing feature of the Coiste.
Meanwhile, the local playground is open to all and is a key feature in the village for locals, visitors and tourists.