‘Our Rural Future’ is a game changer for rural Ireland
Some viewers will recall Boyle’s efforts back in 2003 to become part of the then prized Government decentralization plan. At the time, Boyle offered a free site to the Government for the decentralisation of a state department. The offer was ignored and to much disappointment – Boyle got nothing. Roll on 18 years to last Monday and another form of decentralisation was announced by Government with the launch of ‘Our Rural Future’ – a policy that will promote rural development over the next five years, supported by more than 130 measures that will address the challenges aimed at capturing the opportunities for people living in rural Ireland. This time, unlike 2003, Boyle is better prepared for what this strategy can bring, with the town’s positive attitude towards redevelopment being one catalysts that will hopefully see us benefit. Co Working and Home Working feature strongly in the plan and with an established Co Working Hub in Boyle (the Spool Factory), access to high speed broadband and a good rail and road network, these additional catalysts will see Boyle being one of the many winners of this strategy over the next few years.
The ‘caring community’ we have in Boyle
Last Thursday’s online ‘Supporting Boyle Business’ event, organised by Boyle Family Resource Centre was of great benefit to those who logged on. Lasting exactly one hour, a number of ‘self help’ topics were detailed with emphasis on how to take care of one’s mental health during the current lockdown. At the conclusion of the free event, FRC manager Louise Moran outlined how the centre is there to assist the community during these testing times. The event showed once again, the caring community we have here in Boyle and how we all try and help each other out when it is needed.
The importance of having a Bank ATM
If you think we have it bad in Boyle, cast your thoughts to our neighbouring towns of Elphin and Strokestown as they wait the closure of their local Bank of Ireland branches later this year. The details of the closures have been well documented and publicised over the last few weeks with community anger now turning to frustration as concern grows that the ATM facility at the town’s Banks may also be withdrawn. Here in Boyle we know all about the hassle it takes to get an ATM in your town and the efforts a group of people went to back in the nineties to get such a facility in Boyle. Thankfully now a number of commercial premises in the town also have ATM’s but the machine at the Bank is the only place you can make a lodgment outside of banking hours – hence the importance of ensuring it remains in place.
Space restriction for outdoor dining
Unfortunately not all of Boyle may get the significant funding that will be available under the €17m ‘Outdoor Dining Fund’ that was announced earlier in the week. Some of the funds will go towards providing outdoor seating for tourism and hospitality businesses, but here in Boyle, many such businesses do not have the space outside their premises in which to legally put outdoor seating. The initial Boyle Town Centre Enhancement project had aimed to address this issue, with the planned widening of the footpaths on the Crescent area, which would have facilited such seating, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view), the Crescent area was left out of the scheme and for the time being, all will remain as before in that location.
But there are other aspects to the scheme that the hospitality businesses in Boyle should look over to see if there is any other assistance available to them. Read more here
Two Boyle properties awarded funding
Two heritage projects in the general Boyle area received funding on Thursday. €10,000 was allocated to the Farm Building near Kingston Hall in Rockingham for external wall repair; roof repair, structures and coverings, while Carrigard House in Keelogues outside Boyle will receive €7,000 for draught proofing of windows, doors and other openings. The money, which is aimed at safeguarding and maintaining the properties, comes from the Built Heritage Investment Scheme.
Boyle L.E.A. incidence rate drops
Every Thursday evening, the latest Covid figures for Ireland are released and reported on the following morning by many news outlets, including Boyletoday.com. Here, we pay particular attention to the Boyle L.E.A. which unfortunately has been showing an increase of late. Thankfully last night’s figures show that our 14 day incidence rate has now dropped below the national average (142 per 100k population versus 162.1 nationally). In addition we ‘only’ had 31 cases in the L.E.A. in the 14 days from 16th to 29th March. With social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing and a ramp up in vaccinations we will get over this crisis and better days lie just around the corner. Let’s stick with the plan.
Purple Run raises €3,270 for Downs Syndrome Ireland
A big ‘well done’ to the Abbey College school community in Boyle who supported the recent Purple Run fundraiser and in the process raised €3270 for Down Syndrome Ireland. The Abbey Purple Run took place from the 1st to the 21st of March.
A man walking along a road in the countryside comes across a shepherd and a huge flock of sheep.
He tells the shepherd, “I will bet you €100 against one of your sheep that I can tell you the exact number in this flock.”
The shepherd thinks it over; it’s a big flock so he takes the bet.
“973,” says the man.
The shepherd is astonished, because that is exactly right.
Says “OK, I’m a man of my word, take an animal.” Man picks one up and begins to walk away.
“Wait,” cries the shepherd, “Let me have a chance to get even.
Double or nothing that I can guess your exact occupation.”
Man says sure.
“You are an economist for a government think tank,” says the shepherd.
“Amazing!” responds the man, “You are exactly right! But tell me, how did you deduce that?”
“Well,” says the shepherd, “put down my dog and I will tell you.