Community Spirit in Coolaney

Yesterday was an exciting day in Coolaney village when the judges for the IPB Pride of Place Awards came to visit. Coolaney was one of two Sligo places nominated and it was a real community effort. There was the butcher, the bakers and the candlestick makers…OK maybe not the latter but certainly the rest.

I’ve lived in Coolaney for almost 28 years, in fact all the time that I’ve lived in Ireland. There’s no other place I’d like to live. We have a beautiful scenic village, lots of different groups to be a part of and a great community spirit. There’s always a friendly smile and a cheery hello.

You can take part in singing, drawing, football, cycling and that’s just to name a few. The Coolaney Tidy Towns have won awards for over 20 years, the ICA have been in operation for over 50 years and Mary told us and the judges all about their lovely organisation in the fantastic event yesterday.

There was Irish music, Irish dancing – including a dance down by the river – an actual, real, Riverdance! There was gospel singing, afternoon tea, Italian food, cup cakes, sandwiches and so many smiling volunteers.

“The purpose of the competition is to acknowledge the work being done every day by communities all over the island of Ireland. Since the competition commenced our judges have met hundreds of thousands of people, all of whom are proud of their place. The competition is based on communities demonstrating directly to the judges their pride in their place by oral presentation, exhibitions of community activities and culture and a tour of the area highlighting the aspects of which they are particularly proud. It is also important that the community demonstrates real partnership with their local council and shows that all sectors of the community are included.”

Hopefully our village showed the judges that we are an inclusive community, there really is something for everyone. It’s only going to get better with the new Mountain Bike Centre and the new Community Cafe which are planned for next year. So fingers crossed for the winners announcement and even if we don’t win I was proud to be a part of it.


Coolaney – a Community with Spirit

Back in April I wrote about the village I live in, Coolaney, and how they opened a pop-up cafe in the local community centre. It has been run by the community, for the community. Everyone who works in the cafe is a volunteer, it’s been a great learning curve and so much fun.

Continue reading “Coolaney – a Community with Spirit”

food, Ireland, photos, shopping, sligo

Beltra Country Market

This morning I took a trip out to Beltra Country Market. I’ve been meaning to go for a long time but never actually got there until today. Beltra is located on the N59 just outside Ballisodare. The market is on every Saturday from 10am – 12 noon.

The first thing that struck me was the warmth and friendliness of the people there. They were very welcoming and helpful. There were some lovely gifts, crafts and food for sale. I got some wonderful onion chutney and some cakes (can’t resist the cakes 😉 )

It’s an indoor market which is just as well given the lousy weather we have here at the moment. There were fresh crepes on sale and a lovely bright tea room where you can meet old friends and make new ones over a cuppa and a cake.

There is a real community feel about the market with various activities going on most Saturdays. This is the list for the next few weeks:

July 7th – Bug Hunting!

July 14th – Pottery Making

July 21st – Cross Stitch Sewing

July 28th – Felt making and coffee morning in aid of HEADSTRONG

August 4th – Make a miniature tray garden

August 11th – Kids’ baking

August 18th – Raffle in aid of Animal Rescue.

So really a lot going on and well worth checking out. The rest of my photos are here.