Monday 20 November 2017

Support our small towns: How one village is fighting back

Staff Geraldine Heneghan, Sheila McDermott and Ita Kelly pictured with Bernard Kearney, proprietor of the newly opened village shop in Fourmilehouse, Co Roscommon. Photo: David Walsh
Staff Geraldine Heneghan, Sheila McDermott and Ita Kelly pictured with Bernard Kearney, proprietor of the newly opened village shop in Fourmilehouse, Co Roscommon. Photo: David Walsh
Caroline Crawford

Caroline Crawford

A RURAL village, which saw the closure of four shops, a post office and the local pub, took matters into its own hands by setting up a community shop.

Locals in Fourmilehouse in Roscommon have seen services dwindle for the once-thriving community, with shops, the post office and local pub all closing.

The village and nearby Derrane are made up of over 400 homes and 1,300 residents.

"Thirty years ago, we had four shops but one by one they all closed. We had a post office that closed in 2005 and the local pub closed on Good Friday last. We really were left with nothing," said Bernard Kearney, chairman of the local community centre complex.

Over the past few decades, the local residents had tried to stem the loss to the area, setting up a community centre, housing for the elderly, a community bus and childcare centre.

In December, the locals once again took action, this time setting up a community shop.

"As communities, we have to make the effort to show the Government that these places are worth saving.

"We now have 70 children in the childcare centre and the services are doing great, so we decided to take action on the shop.

"It would be very hard to make it a going concern but as a community project it's working nicely."

Irish Independent

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