Fair Hill before the enhancement works undertaken by SKRD.

A look ahead to even more exciting projects

A number of exciting projects are in Shercock Killann Rural Development’s (SKRD) wishlist for the coming year including enhancements to help maximise the potential of Lough Sillan’s majestic shoreline.

The village is blessed with one of the finest lakes in the county, and to open the amenity up to more people, the voluntary group have a few initiatives in motion. With the help of Town and Village Renewal funding they hope have new picnic benches and seats installed at the Lakeshore by next summer.

This builds on one of SKRD’s most notable successes for which they were granted funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development in 2019 to help develop a nature walk at Lough Sillan.

“An underused track which was laden with large potholes and mud tracks is now suitable for buggies and children and the many keen walkers we have in our community. They can all enjoy a walk whilst taking in the spectacular views of Lough Sillan,” explained SKRD secretary/treasurer, Elizabeth McEvoy.

SKRD also haven’t given up on their attempt to provide a full path to the lakeshore. In 2020 the group commissioned, with the help of the Leader programme, a feasibility study to see if the project was a runner.

“This is currently still one of our goals but unfortunately has not been fully achieved as of yet. But it is something that is very dear to the community and on the wishlist of many,” said Elizabeth.

In 2019 they received funding to upgrade the much used playpark and installed new child friendly fencing and improved the surface. The new items have provided great joy for children over last three years.

The group’s activities extend far beyond Lough Sillan. Other projects earmarked for next year include seating on Main Street and some further landscaping. They also hope to paint some of the facades of buildings that are either unoccupied or underused to bring some color into their townscape.

“We aim to have a large art installation with a theme unique to our history, which we hope will bring joy to the people of the town,” Elizabeth enthused.

SKRD’s successes are too numerous to go into detail here, but they include an upgrade of the Parish Hall kitchen (courtesy of a Leader grant) to cater for everything from charity evenings and funeral receptions to their very well run senior citizens club. They also purchased a new trophy display cabinet for the ever popular Shercock Drama Festival, they provide the floral displays which festoon the Main Street poles and compliment the extensive planting of trees, shrubs and hedges they undertook in 2016, again courtesy of the Town and Village Scheme.

Of course given the time of year it is, it would be remiss to not mention the fact they, with the generous support of local businesses, continually upgrade and extend their stunning displays of Christmas lights and trees. They hope next year the pandemic will have eased off enough to permit a return to the hugely popular annual switch on of lights, capped off with the arrival of Santa.

“So there’s a few things that we have completed and there are many more items on our agenda,” concludes Elizabeth.

“We’re always looking for new members, and anyone who’d like to come forward is always welcome. In fact this year we gained three new members and it is wonderful to have them on board. They have started a Tidy Towns initiative and have been busy with weeding and organising clean-ups. Again everyone is welcome.”