Monday 22 January 2018

Improve rail times to rural towns in Sligo

Claire Dineen in the Ballymore Family Resource Centre
Claire Dineen in the Ballymore Family Resource Centre

Sinead Healy

Claire Dineen has been working with the Ballymore Family Resource Centre (FRC) for the past 16 years and has witnessed first hand the struggle the rural community has faced due to lack of public transport.

"Years ago the train came around 2-3 times a day. Now there is one every two hours so it has left it a bit easier on people. But there is one flaw," she explains "The first train to leave Ballymote for Sligo isn't until 11 o'clock making working in Sligo Town difficult."

One of the actions listed in the plan is 'Rural Infrastructure' helping to improve transport links to rural areas and towns, something Claire has welcomed.

Over the years the FRC has adapted to the needs of the community such as computer courses and mother and toddler groups.

"It's great the huge amount of training in education we do here, it means people in the local area don't have to make their way into Sligo" said Claire.

Ballymote town has seen a number of closures to small cafés and shops over the years, something Claire is eager to change, but lack of funds has halted many projects.

"Politicians talk about unlocking rural Ireland's potential - but who locked it? The potential has always been here but the difficulty has always been getting the funding or being in competition with other groups and organisations for funding" said Claire.

"A Community cafe would be ideal here in the FRC, if not just for the social aspect but also all the information people would be able to get. Other than the hotel here there is nothing like a drop in community cafe."

Sligo Champion

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