07 Dec 2021

Laois village is cooking up a storm for the community

Laois village is cooking up a storm for the community

Eoin Hartford, Kate Kenna, Lochlin Fennelly, Aidan Scully, James Hartford and Ellen Hartford at the Ballinakill GAA Family Fun Day. Photograph: Alf Harvey

The Laois village of Ballinakill is buzzing with community spirit and a drive to develop a local amenity area for young families and all to enjoy.

The reopening of the outdoor swimming has been a roaring success driving momentum for a host of fun and creative community events coming up to help fundraise ambitious community plans.

Aoife Mullholland West is the treasurer of the Ballinakill Community Development Committee. She said there is an opportunity to fundraise by hosting a Come Dine With Me event in September with all funds going towards a playground for the community.

“We were looking for fresh fundraising ideas and we decided on Come Dine With Me for the month of September. We’re going down the brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner route for whatever number of people you like.

“We are encouraging anyone who wants to host an event to contact me and talk it out with me to make a plan. The concept is to achieve match funding for a potential €130,000 grant to get a playground in Ballinakill.

“We set up the swimming pool and there is an area there to have as an amenity park and maybe an all-purpose pitch down the line. The community spirit in Ballinakill is going wonderfully, the swimming pool has been an unbelievable success. People come from far and wide and it just shows when you get the community going what can be achieved, it is phenomenal.

“It is great for the kids in the area to have a facility like that and it is calling out for a playground. At the moment people have to travel to Abbeyleix, Rathdowney or Ballyragget for a playground but when you bring the kids into it everyone can get behind it, and the children can see the sense of achievement,” she said.

With plans to raise €13,000 towards the match funding for a playground grant and studies for an all-purpose pitch, there is no stopping the community in Ballinakill.

In September anyone can host a Come Dine With Me event, a Fit Family Day will be held on September 15 and a 5km run will take place on October 6. For more information on the Come Dine With Me fundraiser contact Aoife Mullholland West 0872722550.


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