Well what started off as a 38 page journey has become a 56 page cavalcade! Welcome to our new look 56 page mag – our thanks to the business community of the town and its hinterland and indeed the Directors of BACD for helping to underpin the continued expansion – it will hopefully allow us to grow the space allocated to photos which we encourage more and more of you in the readership to submit!
As some of you may know I was involved as an outreach officer for the community rollout of the EIRCODEs for East Galway over the past few months which involved serious traversing of the East County Galway territories .
To say that rural Ireland has taken a hammering is to hugely underestimate the real damage that can only be witnessed by driving through towns and villages, once vibrant hubs of community and commercial centres.
The devastation of a place that has neither shop, tavern or temple open in the middle of the day is a cruel sight – but obviously one that politicians and policy makers are content to witness as long as the magical national computation of the figures that is the new way of totting GDP and GNP suggests we are on the UP ! The Cities of the island and the 1.3 million of the M50 Greater Liffey Metro Area may be technically out of recession, with demands on house prices and wages back in vogue again but the rest of the island is still deeply gouged of people, capital and services.
The places however that have the wind in their limited sails in East Galway are the ones who are animated by people who do care, selfless, tireless volunteers and community activists who do the meals on wheels, look after our elderly, our young, our environment , our faiths , our places.
Too often we criticise , carp , slag , complain or question the motives of those who give. A good community needs its activists and also needs to teach next generations that legacy of facilities, services and sense of place was never orchestrated by a State on behalf of its people, but by people sometimes with the help but more often the indifference of the State.
Happy to see that our development company is reviving the idea of People of the Year Awards this Autumn – we need to pause , look around and acknowledge that without the volunteers who make things happen – we would never really have a community.
Le Gach de Ghui,
Editor Ballinasloe Life.