Newcastle Community Council is made up of three elected members from each station area within the half parish. The areas represented are Shudane, Cormacoo, Bengarra, Loughtenora, Tysaxon, Clonkeen, Newcastle, Coddoo, Knockbrack, Ballyboggan, and Lenamore.
The three elected members represent their area for a period of three years. Ballot papers are sent out at the end of the three years to each household, so that they can vote. The Community Council meets in the Newcastle Centre on the first Wednesday of each month at 9pm.
The business conducted by the council is very varied. Items such as roads, signposts, Cemetery Up-keep, Community Centre up-keep, environmental projects, Community Alert, and Church Committee are but some of the things with which members are currently involved in. The Council is also a member of the Athenry ADC, which has been of great assistance over recent years, providing expert advice and guidance with many of the projects undertaken by council members.
As Newcastle is so lucky to have its own Church, four teacher School, and Community Centre in one location, it’s of great importance that the Community in general recognise this, and that everyone in the area benefit from this. With such a fine Community Centre on the doorstep, providing facilities for indoor soccer, Hand-ball, racquet-ball, badminton and squash, we would encourage the community in general to take more advantage of this. Membership for the year is very reasonable at £25, and all you have to do is book whichever court you want. Running costs for a centre such as this are, of course, very high.
Insurance alone costs almost £2,000 for the year, and repairs and replacements for general wear and tear also add up to a substantial amount. Heating is another very high cost, which must be provided for the showers etc. To help towards the yearly running costs the Council hold some fund-raising events each year. For the last two years we had very well supported “Fund-raising” cycles through the half parish. Just before Christmas each year there is a “sale of work”, and in August of this year 2001 we held a parish dance in the centre.
Frank Bruce in Colemanstown provided the full bar on the night and Joe Glynn from Bengarra provided the music. A very nice night was had by all. The committee would like to thank Frank Burke, who as always served up some lovely cocktails, and also Joe Glynn who played long into the night, and kept the Centre rocking.
Indeed, Joe’s brother Gerry was for many years the caretaker at the centre, and did an excellent job there. His wife Mary and the family also turned up to help Gerry get the place ready for many of the big occasions over the years. We were indeed sorry to loose Gerry, who left to take up full-time employment with another company.
FÁS have also been a great friend of the Community Council, and indeed but for their help and co-operation many of the improvements in the entire Newcastle village would not have become a reality.
A great debt of thanks is owed to the many people who some thirty years ago had the vision and foresight to bring about the building of this fine Centre. We must remember that back then the “Celtic Tiger” was still on “safari” somewhere in Africa.
It was one great achievement and to those people, we the current users of the facility should be ever grateful. We would like to think that we will be able to keep this Centre open and well maintained in the coming years. As with all community-based projects on-going fundraising will continue. We would ask you the public to “be as generous as possible”, and to say “Many Thanks for your support over the years”. Without that continued and loyal support we would not be able to provide services at their current level.
Finally, we in the Newcastle Community Council would like to wish all the readers of this edition of the Athenry Journal a very happy Christmas, and the very best for the New Year 2002.
Written by Maura Gannon
Published here 13 Jul 2023 and originally published Christmas 2001