19 July 2017

Community Celebrates official opening of the Sliabh Bawn Recreation Facilities


L-R: Mark Foley from Coillte with Eugene Cummins, CEO Roscommon County Council and John Reilly, Bord na Mona at Sliabh Bawn Recreation Launch

Monday 4th September 2017: Over 300 members of the local community gathered at Sliabh Bawn on Saturday 2nd of September for the official opening of the Sliabh Bawn recreational facilities.  The new amenities include a trim trail for fitness, an equestrian trail, six looped walks, a raised viewing platform and a new picnic area. The amenities were developed as part of the Sliabh Bawn wind farm and represent a 500K investment by Sliabh Bawn Power a joint venture between Coillte and Bord na Mona.

To celebrate the opening of the amenities Sliabh Bawn Power hosted a free family day for all community. Activities kicked off with a 5k and 10K fun run along the new trails. Over 130 people participated in the run, as Jacqueline Holmes (0:31:48.00) and Caoillthionn Thomspson (0:55:59.7) finished first respectively among the female 5K and 10K participates, with Ken Kennedy (0:17:46.5) and Fergal Towey (0:43:36.1) the first men to cross the finishing lines over the same distances. Other activities included a Teddy Bears Picnic, story time and face painting which took place at the picturesque summit of Sliabh Bawn and throughout the day groups had an opportunity to walk along one of the six looped walks or travel along the newly upgraded ancient Monastery path.

Speaking at the event Andy Fox, Community Engagement Manager with Sliabh Bawn Power said “We are absolutely delighted that so many of the community were able to join us for the official opening of the Sliabh Bawn recreational facilities. Coillte and Bord Na Mona have a long history of developing tracks and trails and know that thoughtful and well-designed amenities can turn a forest into a playground for people of all ages and abilities. Here in Sliabh Bawn we wanted to create a space that allowed people of all ages to walk or run, trails that can take you on a journey through a forest and across a mountain, a place to explore the local history or follow ancient customs, a place for fitness and wellness and somewhere to rest and take in the breath-taking mountain views. Mostly we wanted to create amenities which put the community at the heart of Sliabh Bawn.

“We want to thank the community for their engagement throughout the development of these amenities which were constructed as part of the Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm. Community groups, associations, elected representatives and many individuals made representations and shared ideas that allowed us to create something truly special. We genuinely hope that these amenities become a real resource to the community while offering an opportunity for integration with local tourism initiatives and play a role in this thriving community.”

The Sliabh Bawn recreational amenities were developed by Sliabh Bawn Power as part of the Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm, a joint venture by Coillte and Bord na Mona. The state of the art amenities represent a €500k investment by the company.

In addition, Sliabh Bawn Wind Farm operates a community fund – totalling €87,000 (index linked) annually. The Community Fund which will run over the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm was developed to benefit local projects and initiatives. The fund has now run for two years and has made awards to a variety of local organisations and clubs. This year a total of 24 projects are being supported, seven who received multi-annual grants in 2016 and 17 selected from this year’s applicants. The recipient projects include sport and recreation works in seven local schools, two Scout Groups, projects that look to improve local walkways and trails, upgrades to local sports facilities, village improvement works, promotion of local history and heritage and widening the coverage of defibrillator equipment across the local area.

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