Some of the participants at the Grow remote conference
It is entirely appropriate that the “Smart Community Initiative” was launched in Tubbercurry on Friday, 18th January, 2019 as it was in this small town that “Smart Economics” were made manifest in this country with the formation of The Tool and Gauge Company of Ireland Limited, in 1956. “Smart Economics” are underpinned by “Smart Technology” and nowhere in Industry is technology smarter than in “Precision Toolmaking” where the equipment and machinery to produce everything in quantity is designed and manufactured. A century ago, Henry Ford described “toolmakers” as the “Aristocrats” of Engineering while Steve Jobs, when asked how he would like to be remembered, expressed the hope that he would be regarded as a good “Toolmaker” to the world.
Since the first tools of wood and stone were made, human progress has been defined by the quality, durability and “smartness” of the tools available at the time. The Industrial Revolution massively improved tooling and output which facilitated an eightfold increase of human population coupled with enormous enhancement of living conditions. Over the last three decades, Computerization has lifted Technology and Precision Toolmaking” to unprecedented levels of excellence and performance, which are proudly embraced and perfected by native and international industry all over the country.
Increases in excellence and output have been enormous; so enormous that many conditions and balances which propelled growth economics through two centuries of Industrial revolution have been made redundant and reversed. These achievements have brought about the greatest and best time ever experienced by the human race. It is becoming apparent however, that failure to fully embrace and adapt to an entirely unprecedented era of “sufficiency” and reduced workload, is causing widespread uncertainty and insecurity for many who fear abandonment by the technological age. Such fear is at the heart of Brexit and increasing movement towards extreme politics all over the world.
Fifty-three years ago, Tubbercurry enthusiastically embraced “Smart Economics” of that time. It would be appropriate and very worthwhile if the newly instituted “Smart Community Initiative” could provide a similar reception for “Smart Economics” of the present. Sadly, such has not been the Global experience to date. It is no longer smart for Economists, politicians, media and communities to think that old remedies will cure newly arrived problems. Initiatives to improve education, entice investment, create new jobs and regular Government windfalls to sustain local enterprise, while very welcome in the immediate term, are in no way adequate to counter the enormous changes generated by modern technology.
Embracing new technologies successfully will require complete rethinking of economic ideology. The old rules no longer apply. How can growth economics serve a technological world that increasingly produces too much; thereby creating enormous difficulties for commerce and trade? How can employment, with all its benefits, entitlements and security, be sustained despite technology continually reducing reliance on human labour? How can confidence of prolonged income, through secure commercial activity and employment, be restored in a world that no longer guarantees either? How can masses be reassured that modern technology is not going to abandon them; and consign their futures to dependency, deprivation and despair? These are extraordinarily difficult questions that very few in positions of authority want to acknowledge. But they are questions that must be asked; they must be investigated, debated and answered adequately and quickly. Otherwise the horrific vista of the most successful smartest technology ever devised, destroying innumerable communities could become a reality.
The greatest service Tubbercurry, with its new status and “Smart Economy” experience, could perform for the local community, for the national community and indeed for the global community, is to initiate a debate which starts the process of formulating an economic ideology which will get the very best out of the most successful technology ever devised. Since the dawn of history, economic ideology, from its simplest to its most complex, had had to cope with and manage technologies which were never capable of producing enough. The world now need an ideology capable of coping with and managing technology that generates more than can be consumed. Where better could serious and sustained quest for satisfactory answers to the problems of success begin; other than in the birthplace of smart economies in Ireland. A community capable of doing such a service, could truly be called “really smart”.
A wonderful thing happened in my little town last week. The Phoenix Players drama group in Tubbercurry, undertook presentation of probably the greatest musical ever written; “the Sound of Music”. This was a totally home grown product; the cast, all 90 of them, from stars to cameo, are local; relatives, friends, neighbours ranging in age from 6 to 86; people known, loved and cherished within the community which is immensely proud of the achievement. There were at least 50 other individuals involved; backstage, front of house and undertaking the innumerable tasks needed to present such an enormous show. And the wonderful thing, the incredible thing, the thing that will not be forgotten as long as the youngest participants survive, is that the show presented for 7 nights to absolutely packed houses, was an enormous success. The sets, although miniscule in comparison, the costumes, the lighting, the effects and especially the singing and acting were not what the cynical might expected from a small rural town. They were akin to and in many instances surpassed what might be seen on professional stages in Dublin, London or even Broadway itself. This may appear preposterous exaggeration, but for the people of Tubbercurry, it is one of the great and most uplifting truths of 2019.
Tubbercurry, once a hive of Industry where seeds of technology and smart economics first sprouted in Ireland, has suffered substantially in recent years with loss of almost 200 jobs. The apparently forgotten town is located on a section of the N17 roadway, which, apart from surface renewal, signage and some realignment, has not been upgraded in living memory. Yet this glorified “cart-track”, for that is what it was constructed as, is regarded as a national highway with a 100 kilometres speed limit although its width in many places is criminally inadequate for vehicular traffic never mind ability to accommodate cycling or walking. It was reported some time ago that EU funds to upgrade this section of substandard road were allow be diverted to other projects by the present leadership of our country. To add to feeling of abandonment, the people of Tubbercurry and district can no longer drink water from their taps and must look to an indefinite future of purchasing bottled water, on which incidentally, they pay 23% Value Added Tax. And nobody in governance and officialdom appears to give a damn.
This forsaken town however, has the ability, the talent, the community spirit to produce one of the finest amateur shows ever seen on an Irish Stage. It indicates what small towns faced with grave insecurity and creeping decay can do when a sense of community, cooperation and preparedness to use their finest talents in the interests of the common good, comes to the fore. In this age of rampant individualism, which appears in danger of corroding the very core of community, it is gratifying to find an event which bucks the trend and solidifies cohesion and self-belief in the knowledge that given viable scripts, they can provide leadership, activists and the will to achieve anything. Such spirit in this age of phenomenal change, is what will save rural Ireland and vulnerable communities all over the world. As yet however, nobody appears to have written a viable script, which is where government should urgently concentrate its energies.
In the meantime to all who participated and attended, I say well done; you have excelled in your efforts and left a joyous sound of music ringing through the hearts of Tubbercurry. You will long be remembered with great affection and pride. You provide a resounding encouragement to many small communities unsure of themselves, that the apparently unachievable can be achieved and that dreams of security, prosperity and a better life can be realized by those who work together and selflessly express their substantial talents in the common good.
I am immensely proud of my place and the people in it. Congratulations to all concerned.
The new Sewage Treatment Plant at Rathscanlon on the Ballina Road has been under construction over the last 12 months, and its completion is now near at hand. The last phase of the project is the laying of a new pipeline along the Ballina road out to the River Moy at Annagh to carry the treated water to discharge into the Moy at Annagh. These works are just commencing and will take several months to complete. This will cause considerable delay to traffic using the road and it will be inconvenient to residents of the road. However, it is to facilitate a badly needed new facility for the town, so patience and understanding is required. Hopefully, a traffic management plan will be put in place to facilitate minimum disruption.
Meanwhile, the N17 road works continue on the Tubbertelly – Achonry stretch and the frustration of regular road users at this location is audible regularly around the town due to long traffic delays.
The local elections posters are beginning to appear around South Sligo, and it is great to see a good selection of new candidates putting their names forward for election. New names around so far include, Romauld Mullarkey, Barry Gallagher and Martin Connolly. Other new names are likely to appear in the coming weeks as well as many of the sitting Councillors, most of whom do a great job representing their constituents.
Sitting Councillor, Gerry Lundy will not be going forward this time, and he is wished well in his retirement.
It will be interesting to challenge the candidates on their canvas. Many of them are involved in community activities already, and they are all wished well in their campaigns.
The Sound of Music
The town of Tubbercurry, and the entire South Sligo area was alive to the sound of music over the last 2 weeks as the Phoenix Players presented the musical extravaganza “The Sound of Music”. Producer, Tom Walsh recruited a cast of approx 100 people ranging in age from 6 – 85 years old, and they all played their part to full houses in St. Brigid’s Hall on 7 different nights. The show was truly wonderful and generated standing ovations at the end of each show. The costume array and colour was like something from London’s West End, while the live band that played just in front of the stage generated an electric atmosphere. Everybody involved should be very proud of their achievements as should the parents of the many wonderful children involved.
For a small South Sligo community to produce such an event is truly a testimony to the wonderful talent of acting and singing that is all around.
Rumour has it that after the cast take a well deserved rest, they may tour Ireland with the show!! Further details later!
Pat Brennan, Tubbercurry
The recent death occurred of Pat Brennan at Bailey’s Nursing Home. Pat was a resident at Bailey’s Nursing Home over the past 16 years as he was struck as a young man with Multiple Sclerosis. He was formerly resident in Mountain View, Tubbercurry.
Aged 70, Pat worked all his working life in the Basta Factory until illness shortened his working life. In his youth, Pat was a fine soccer player and was a regular with Real Tubber during his playing career.
Pat always had a smile on his face and even in later years when MS limited his activities, he still managed to smile and never complained.
His remains reposed at the house of his daughter Caroline, where old friends called to pay their last respects. He was removed to the Church of St. John Evangelist for funeral mass, and burial took place in Rhue Cemetery.
Pat is survived by his wife Ann, daughter Caroline, sons Martin and Gerard, sisters, in-laws, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends, all to whom sympathy is extended. May he rest in peace.
North Connaught College
Thank you to everybody who showed their support on Wednesday evening last at the Employer Acknowledgement event hosted by North Connaught Student Council. The event was a wonderful opportunity to thank Employers/ and the Tubbercurry Community who take our students on Work Experience and prepare them for Work.
Ox Mountain Adventure Camp
Ox Mountain Adventure Camp are running a 2 day Easter Fun Camp on 23rd and 24th April, from 10am till 2pm each day. Cost €30 per child. Limited places. All enquiries email firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone 0719181920
Pilgrimage to Medjugorje
The annual Pilgrimage to Medjugorje takes place from 26th September – 3rd October, 2019, led by Spiritual Director, Fr. Tim Flynn. Flights from Dublin with return airport transfers to Medjugorje, Half board accommodation in a private house, together with full religious programme, all included in the price.
For more information please contact, Breda Durkin on 071-9186123 or mobile 087-1873703
Memorial Tractor Run
JJ McHugh Memorial tractor run in aid of Mayo Roscommon Hospice will take place on Easter Monday 22nd April from Julians of Midfield, Swinford. Registration at 1pm. Run starting at 2pm sharp. All types of tractors, vintage vehicles & trucks welcome. Refreshments after event with music by Eunice Moran. Entry fee €20. Contact Mary on 0857477678 or Jarlath on 0864045133. Your support would be appreciated.
Following his debut to Tubbercurry which was a huge success, Killorans Bar and Restaurant, are delighted to announce the return visit of Matthew O’Donnell and his band to Tubbercurry on Friday night 3rd May for what promises to be a great night of music and dancing. If you’re looking for a good “knees up” and love to dance the night away, put the date in your diary. A great night once again is guaranteed.
Banada Abbey Bingo
Massive €1,800 guaranteed payout every Tuesday night at Banada Abbey Bingo starting at 8.30pm sharp. Jackpot, €1,100 + on 45 calls or less. All lines €20 and €260 payout on Flier sheet. 50:50 draw and lots of Lucky Number Games.
Tubbercurry Dance Class on Sligo Rd. Why not join our class Wednesday nights from 8pm. Class for beginners- improvers, learn new steps or practice your dancing, and a brilliant way to exercise. Slow Waltz, Waltz Foxtrot, Quickstep and more. For more information contact 087-6674561.
Cloonacool Card Game
The Cloonacool card game moves to the later time of 9 pm starting from last week
Clothes Bag Collection
A clothes bag collection will take place in aid of Cloonacool Mens Shed and Cloonacool Community cafe. More details later.
Correspondent: Roger McCarrick – email@example.com
Wild Atlantic Way Spring campaign kicks-off for a 4 week intense media burst (Radio/TV) with Digital/PR extension into May
The campaign works to counter seasonality and regionality by inspiring growth of the domestic market along the route with an emphasis north of Galway. All activity is delivered through motivating and impactful content anchored in the creative platform ‘Embrace the Wild Atlantic Way of Life’ and working to build and strengthen existing audience awareness.