Community spirit in bloom in County Limerick town

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

RESIDENTS of two council housing estates in Croom have found that paint, flower pots and a sense of place are as important as bricks and glass when it comes to crafting a community.

RESIDENTS of two council housing estates in Croom have found that paint, flower pots and a sense of place are as important as bricks and glass when it comes to crafting a community.

Locals in Kylefea and Caemore Court are among dozens of local authority tenants who have taken keeping their estates tidy into their own hands, under the guidance of Limerick County Council’s tenant liaison scheme.

Majella Enright, chairperson of the local residents committee, said that in communities like theirs the simplest ideas are often the best.

“This year we did a bit of painting around the place; we put out a few flower boxes and planted a new tree. We’re getting a special stone plaque put in for all the deceased residents too.”

Last week, residents of the 76 houses in Kylefea and Caemore Court held a commemorative Mass for all their deceased neighbours. They also planted a special tree as part of the event, which was ringed with candles as a mark of respect.

The Croom estates are among a clutch of local authority housing schemes which have benefited as a result of the tenant liaison scheme, a project which has been piloted in County Limerick over the past two years.

The scheme allows the housing department to work in a closer and more efficient manner with its tenants, and also provide them with the means to rectify problems on their estates in light of cuts to funding.

The project has seen residents committees re-organised on the ground and working closely with Christy O’Donovan, the council’s designated liaison officer.

Mr O’Donovan said that the work in Croom, much as in other estates across the county, shows that community spirit runs deep.

“From my point of view, the community here are fantastic. This is a wonderful estate, and they all played a small part in helping to bring it to where it is today”.

As part of the scheme, estates such as Sharwood and Castleview in Newcastle West, Collins Park in Abbeyfeale and Scanlan Park in Castleconnell have taken significant strides towards improving their physical environment and re-energising local residents.

This has been coupled with project-specific funding by the council for projects such as clean-ups, painting and community activities.

The council has also taken further measures to tackle more significant problems such as anti-social behaviour and loose horses, particularly in Newcastle West where barring orders have been secured against unruly tenants.