Northern Ireland news

Pomeroy calling: Help us make our community centre dream a reality

Members of groups looking forward to using a new community centre in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone have come together in a final fundraising push. Picture by Ian Maginess

ULSTER’S highest village has put a call out across Ireland and around the world for help making the dream of a new community centre a reality.

A £750,000 centre is currently under construction in Pomeroy, Co Tyrone, in the grounds of the local GAA club.

It will provide a focal point for parishioners young and old, offering much-needed space for sporting and cultural activities and modern facilities for community groups and small businesses.

It will also act as a hub for statutory and voluntary services to ensure an isolated community in the foothills of the Sperrins does not miss out on the support to grow and help itself.

Pomeroy, which has produced singers Philomena and Andrea Begley as well as several members of the current Tyrone football team, is the geographical centre of Ulster and its highest village but has long suffered deprivation due to its history and location.

Pomeroy is Ulster's highest village and also the geographical centre of the province

Most of the funding for the centre has already been secured.

However, there remains a shortfall of just over £200,000 and groups across the community have come together for a final fundraising push.

People within the parish but also anyone with a connection to Pomeroy across Ireland and scattered around the globe have been invited to 'buy a brick' on a pathway to be laid outside the building.

Each stone will be personalised to celebrate that link and record it permanently for posterity.

It could be a family name and townland, a tribute to a loved one who has passed away or, for those living abroad, a message of support to those at home.

Businesses, sporting organisations and community groups wishing to show their support, both within the parish and outside, are also being encouraged to contribute.

Members of groups looking forward to using the centre have been visiting homes across Pomeroy in recent days to invite families to sign up.

A 'buy a brick' campaign is hoping to raise more than £200,000 for Cavanakeeran Community Centre. Picture by Ian Maginess

Denis Devlin is a member of Pomeroy Players, which has won awards across Ireland for its productions but has been unable to perform at home because of the lack of a suitable venue.

He said the initiative has captured the imagination of the entire village.

“The centre will be a place where the people of Pomeroy will come together - whether it be for concerts or plays, family functions or funeral dinners, exercise classes or book clubs.

“Buying a brick is a practical way to be involved in this huge community effort to make our dream a reality.

An image of what Cavanakeeran Community Centre will look like

“For people living abroad with connections to Pomeroy, it provides a 'pathway home' and an opportunity to leave a legacy for future generations.

“It will stand as a symbol of Pomeroy coming together across the generations and seas, helping to secure the health, happiness and well-being of a community for years to come.”

For further information or to buy a brick see cca-hub.com/ccc/ or contact Cavanakeeran Community Centre on Facebook.

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