Ballyjamesduff aims to get national TT title back

A growing army of committed people are joining an active Tidy Towns crusade in Ballyjamesduff, aiming to transform the famous town into a top award winner once again. (Ballyjamesduff won the Tidy Towns Competition in 1966 and "67.) The joint chair of the Tidy Towns Committee, Susan Willis, says that there is a new energy and commitment in the town to strive for national honours within five years. The renewed impetus in Ballyjamesduff is further enhanced by the input of people from Dublin living in the area. Susan says that the growing team meets every Tuesday night on the Square and disperse to various locations which have been targeted for enhancement. Fifteen people and sometimes more answer the call. Susan revealed that the newcomers to the town were gradually taking a definite interest in the work of the TT Committee. She added that there is now a much higher awareness in the community in relation to keeping their town looking its best. It must be working, as Ballyjamesduff performed well in the last County Cavan Litter League. The team of workers cleared a vacant site along the Virginia road recently. They"ve had it rotovated, picked the stones out of it last Tuesday night, put new clay on and intend to add picnic benches. Residents from the Virginia area came out in numbers to help and they now intend to liaise with Ballyjamesduff TT with a view to working on the enhancement of that area. Susan hopes residents on the roads leading into the town will take responsibility for upgrading the visual aspects of their roads. The town is currently adorned with beautiful flowers (purchased from Joe Smith in Lavey) in hanging baskets; they were matured in a greenhouse and then transferred to the various sites. The flowers have to be watered three times a week, which shows the commitment of the TT members. They are steadily improving the overall look of the town each year with a view to bringing the national title back to the area. 'In about five or six years from now, I feel we could well be strong contenders once again,' declared the enthusiastic Susan They intend to make the river in the town a major feature and a general clean-up will be arranged soon. The business people are working hard to keep their shop facades attractive and new shops are using creative designs to add to the streetscape. Many shop owners are putting up windowboxes and planting flowers. Susan said a TT Committee fundraiser in the Beer Garden last week drew donations from all the business people and 'the financial support forthcoming on the night was tremendous'. Butcher Leonard Lynch and his wife Rita did the barbecue. The money raised pays for the flowers and enables the committee to embark on new projects. There are 20 bins in and around the town and generally people make use of them. Susan pointed out that the biggest problem was illegal dumping - people are leaving black bags outside the church and the school and at various corners. 'We collect them and Cavan Waste Management takes them away from us. I don"t think €4 a week is a lot to have your refuge collected. I think it"s lack of consideration and they just prefer to dump the bags and leave the clean-up responsibility to someone else. When items that can be recycled are taken out of the household refuge, it decreases considerably'. The litter warden takes away bags to search for anything that will identify the offending party. Harry Brant is one of the many Dublin people that have moved to the town with their families. A native of Ballymun, he is thrilled to bring some of his community work experience to Ballyjamesduff. Now retired, Harry is enjoying the more relaxed lifestyle in Cavan. It makes it easier to integrate when you become involved in the workings of the community, says Harry, and he"s getting his family involved too. A long serving member on the Community Council, Trevor Smith told the Anglo-Celt that the dynamic TT Committee works in harmony with the council. Generally these are exciting times for the town as work is progressing rapidly on the new €1.3m creche; it should be for September. The next big goal for the Community Council is the provision of a multi-purpose community centre/sports hall. Trevor said a number of new members of the council are people who came to live in the town in recent years. 'They are keen to get involved and many of them have helped with community projects in Dublin. They bring invaluable experience to the table. The Youth Initiative [which will initially operate from the St Teresa"s Centre] is one idea that"s being worked on, for example. They"ve also brought great expertise to the creche project.' Susan Willis and Helen Smith are the joint chairs of the TT Committee. Eileen Lynch is the treasurer, Mary O"Reilly is the assistant treasurer and Rose Mary Galligan is the PRO. They would welcome your contribution to Ballyjamesduff.