By Jimmy Rhatigan
Pic: Donal Foley
IT IS one big happy family.
Love thy neighbour could be the bedtime prayer of those who live in a housing estate on the periphery of our city.
They love the place they call home, sweet home and take pride in its continuous progress and vibrancy.
A legacy handed down by those who have passed to their eternal reward is being enhanced by the present inhabitants and prepared for further augmentation by the next generation.
Residents of Newpark Close are so happy with their lot, including a super victory in a Pride of Place competition, that they have thrown a party to say ‘Thank You’ to loyal and caring neighbours.
Lauded at a free outdoor fun day were members of local families who as volunteers had helped to build up one of the finest residential areas in the South East.
A tandem of Newpark Close Family Resource Centre and the local Residents’ Association spearheaded a cycle of glory that catapulted Newpark Close to a community of caring and sharing, a place of wonderful local services and tremendous facilities.
The judges’ citation after the area had won the Urban Neighbourhood Category of the Pride of Place 2017 said everything about local men, women and children.
We quote: ‘The sustained effort of the community over the decades to build on and harness the success of previous generations totally inspired over the years.
‘The continuous investment of voluntary work has led to the addition of services and amenities within the Newpark area.’
The local sportsfield was a place of thanksgiving on Thursday when community leaders doffed their caps, hats or woolly headgear to those who had sparked a fire that had blown brightly for decades.
“It would be impossible to achieve the fantastic progress in our area without a huge input from our community,” Newpark Close Family Resource Centre Manager Sheila Donnelly told The Reporter.
Volunteers led and united families responded
Pic: Donal Foley
“It was our turn to say a big thanks to our tremendous local families. We had a great celebration, with a special cake, bouncy castles, face painting, fun and food, everything was free and well deserved.
“We had a great turnout of parents and children. We remembered men and women who are no longer with us, great people who dug the foundations, built the blocks and gave us so much to work on. Please God, those who come after us will continue the good work,” Sheila added.
“Winning the Pride of Place overall award was perhaps a reminder that we were going in the right direction, just reward for hard work, toiling as a community to care for that greater family in so many areas of life.
“We have childcare services, a local training initiative, under the Kilkenny Education and Training Board, youth programmes, family support services and we run Internet Technology classes for our seniors.
“It is so important that we look after our people from the cradle to the next life. That we have been doing that is a credit to every family in our area.”
Sheila acknowledged the great work of the staff and volunteers at the resource centre.
She lauded the board of management and praised the residents’ association.
“Our residents are second to none,” she enthused. “They look after our estate, junior wardens pick up litter every two weeks and their parents negotiate with our very
co-operative county council regarding the upkeep of the estate.
“Local families won the Pride of Place title last year and we celebrated this year. My great wish is that in a few years the next generation will again be prize-winners.
“That will be a reminder that all is well in one of the finest areas of Kilkenny to live in,” Sheila concluded.