Ballyhea goes dancing
The people of the ancient parish of Ballyhea, located three miles south of Charleville, rose magnificently to the challenge of their latest fund-raising effort, 'Ballyhea Goes Dancing', in aid of their new school/community hall, when a capacity attendance cheered on their 24 dancing heroes at the Charleville Park Hotel last Saturday night.
The attendance was welcomed by Ballyhea school principal Paul Cronin, who extended sincere thanks to all who had contributed to the success of the night - from the dancers, who spent hours training for the night over the past months under dance teacher Bridget Harte, to the volunteers who worked so hard preparing for the night, to Ballyhea GAA for putting their facilities at the disposal of the committee for training purposes.
He also thanked the local businesses and those in Charleville and Mallow, and elsewhere who had supported their venture through sponsorship and advertising, and the staff and management of Charleville Park Hotel for their assistance in staging the event, and the judges Charlotte, Jeremiah and Cedric.
"The school has a pressing need for indoor sport facilities, a place to play on wet days, provide space and a safe place for all aspects of the curriculum, be it music, drama or physical education," said Mr Cronin.
"The enrolment in the school has risen to 173 pupils and it is essential that we provide a modern and comfortable learning environment for the children.
"The construction of a multi-purpose hall will further enhance the learning experiences and enjoyment of our pupils," added Mr Cronin, who paid tribute to the parents' association members and the finance committee, the staff and parents and members of the local community who have come together, united by a common purpose.
Marie Buicke, chairperson of the Parents' Association said that as parents and members of the Ballyhea community, we can envisage the benefits of the construction of a hall at this time.
"As the African proverb goes, 'it takes a village to raise a child,' and it is through the support of our community that we as parents can support our local school, which in turn helps our children. By working together as a community we can provide our children, who are the future of the parish, with the proper tools and facilities needed to achieve their full potential. As parents that is all we can hope for," she said.
The new hall will also be of benefit to the general community and will be made available to parish groups for recreational, cultural and sporting, youth and age active initiatives and meeting rooms. The venture represents a pooling of resources to cater for a wide range of community activities in the Ballyhea parish.
"Close on 1,000 people are in attendance at this event tonight, demonstrating once again the generosity and pride that the Ballyhea community has in abundance. A special mention must go to the Parents Association of the local school whose hard work and dedication to ensure a wonderful night is had by all," said Mr Cronin.
"A massive congratulations to all our dancers who bravely took to the stage tonight and particularly to our eventual winners, Catherine Horgan and Daniel O'Flynn.
"The new hall will be beneficial to all members of the community and ensure the educational, cultural and recreational future of this proud parish." The MC duties were shared efficiently by Stephen Dennehy and Diarmuid O'Riordan.