Efforts by the community in Glenmalure to improve their local area are continuing at pace.
Following their success in the PURE Mile competition in 2015, the local group has been inspired to take on a second mile this year with a view to continuing as far as Baravore, at the head of the valley, in 2017.
Earlier this year they were also successful in their application to the Adopt a Monument scheme in respect of the 'New Crusher House' at Baravore as part of the mining heritage in that area.
As the owner of the land on which the Crusher House stands, Coillte gave it's backing to the venture. This long awaited development is significant as the New Crusher House is reputed to be 'undoubtedly the finest extant example in Ireland of a rolls crusher house', according to an article in The Journal of the Mining Heritage Trust of Ireland (December 2014).
Since this announcement, things have moved on apace. It has been confirmed that funding is now available from the Heritage Council and Coillte jointly, to carry out preservation and conservation work on the New Crusher House. Coillte has already sought expert advice on the best way to proceed with these works. It is expected they will commence during this summer and be completed in the autumn.
On April 26, a meeting took place at the Glenmalure Lodge Hotel between representatives from the Glenmalure PURE Mile group, Coillte, Adopt a Monument scheme and the Wicklow County Council Heritage Officer.
In a spirit of openness and equality, this meeting was characterised as much by listening as it was by talking. While individual concerns, and differences of emphasis were acknowledged, it was very clear that a broad common ground was shared by all interested parties.
Channels of communication have been opened up to facilitate continuing dialogue between the groups, and there is no doubt that good working relationships have been established.
Committee member and author of the recently published book 'Glenmalure - The Wild Heart of the Mountains', Carmel O'Toole, spoke for the whole PURE Mile group when she expressed her joy and her appreciation for the contributions of all those present towards the preservation of, what she refers to affectionately as, 'our beloved Crusher House'.
There are two upcoming events will be celebrating the history and heritage of the area.
'An Evening of Storytelling and Memories,' hosted by the Glenmalure PURE Mile group and facilitated by Roisin Burke of the Adopt a Monument scheme will take place in Kirikee Hall, Glenmalure, at 7pm next Tuesday, May 10. Admission is free and all are welcome - those with a memory or story to share as well as those more interested in listening.
A second event focusing on the mining heritage in the area is planned as part of the Heritage Week programme in August 2016. This outdoor event will take place around the site of the New Crusher House at Baravore. Check the Heritage Council's schedule of events for further details.