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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 22 January, 2019
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A town in Leitrim wants you to go live there

‘It’s a very special, beautiful place.’

The residents of Kiltyclogher.
The residents of Kiltyclogher.
Image: KiltyLive via Facebook

A TOWN IN Leitrim is calling for people who are sick of the hustle and bustle of city life to come and live with them.

The school in Kiltyclogher, population 233, has just 14 pupils registered for the coming school year, meaning that it would have to close unless another family with a child moves to the area.

To try to save the two-teacher school, the locals have banded together to try to attract people to come and live in the town, which sits close to the Fermanagh border.

The KiltyLive campaign is aiming to attract people from cities to the town, which one local calls a “special, beautiful place”.

“We as a community have decided to take the initiative and campaign to secure our village school, not just for our generation but for future generations to come,” says photographer Joseph Sheerin who lives in the town.

“We are hoping to inspire all struggling villages with small schools not to give up”.

164 Primary school students (and some local residents) in their classroom in Kiltyclogher Source: Joseph Sheerin

Natasha Pearson, a spokesperson for KiltyLive, says that the campaign is focused around keeping the school open and showing off the town.

“It’s an amazing school that has six green flags. As a teacher myself, I know that getting one of those is hard.

“We only need one or two families to keep the school open.”

Beyond the quality of the school, the town is being talked up by those wishing to sell it to potential settlers.

15 Kiltyclogher Source: Joseph Sheerin

“We’ve a lovely village, we’re close to lakes, we have beautiful walks, beautiful mountains, we’re family friendly, pet friendly… It’s just an amazing place,” says Natasha.

“We’re looking for young families who want a safe place to raise children and pick up some Irish traditions.”

Natasha says that the campaign is going down well so far.

PastedImage-84595 Source: KiltyLive via Facebook

“We’re getting a fantastic response. We have houses that are done up and available. Rent allowance is considered and accepted.

“It suits people who might be tired of the hustle and bustle.

“We’re all very close-knit. It’s a very special, beautiful place.”

The town is offering young families with primary school-aged children a free overnight stay in the holiday centre in Kiltyclogher so they can visit and see what they think about relocating.

Resettling

One person who resettled in “Kilty” is Ciaran Rock. Originally from Ballymun in Dublin, he and his wife and two children moved to the town as part of the Rural Resettlement plan in the late 90s.

2017_07_08Joseph Sheerin2187 copy as Smart Object-1 (2) The school in Kiltyclogher Source: Joseph Sheerin

He told Shannonside FM that three other families have resettled in the town and become part of the community and said that rural resettlement officers were necessary across the country.

“We would suggest that all townlands and villages get onto their councils to have a resettlement officer working even half a week.

“We’re so remote that these are vital services.”

Sinn Féin councillor for Manorhamilton Padraig Fallon (SF) said that the “time had come to grasp the nettle” and begin to resettle people to rural communities.

Read: The story of the only Irishman deported from Ireland is hitting the stage

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