On December 18th Lilliput Way on the Cloonlarge Loop, Kilteevan was officially opened with a touch of Christmas cheer. Due to government guidelines only 15 people attended this outdoor event. The inclement weather did not dampen the seasonal spirits and joy.
The road was overgrown and had fallen into disuse in recent years. With the benefit of funding from the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme 2020 and Roscommon Co. Council Community Enhancement Scheme, Kilteevan Tidy Towns reopened and surfaced the road. A Fairy Trail, Signage, Seats, and Living Willow structure were installed.
The road was named Lilliput Way based on the discovery of the remains of a very large Lilliput Turf Cutting Machine on the bog. The group decided to retain remains of the machine as a relic of Kilteevan’s rich heritage and association with turf.
Local men Tommy Dolan and Eamon O Connor who had worked on the Lilliput Machine shared their memories with Kilteevan Tidy Towns about working on the Lilliput Machine. The late Johnny and Paddy Dolan were fondly remembered as original owners of the machine.
Guests of honour were Tommy Dolan and his granddaughter Alannah Dolan, Eamon O Connor and his grandsons Sean Óg, Donnacha and Daniel O Connor. Santa Clause was a totally unexpected surprise guest!
Speaking at the opening Eileen Fahey, Chairperson, Kilteevan Tidy Towns welcomed the guests and described the event as a very special day in the history of the community. She thanked Laura Gallagher, Conservation Ranger, National Parks and Wildlife Service(NPWS) for her continuous support and guidance.She also thanked Niall Cribbon and Cathryn Hannon NPWS.
The positive relationship with Roscommon Council was acknowledged and praised. Eileen thanked Neal Geraghty, Acting Director Roscommon Municipal District, Anthony Mc Dermott and the staff of Roscommon Co Council for their support.
Eileen went on to say that nothing could be done without the goodwill of Tidy Towns volunteers who spend endless hours giving of their time and expertise just for the greater good.
In relation to the Fairy Trail, Eileen said she had to single out Patricia Fox, Kilteevan Tidy Towns, Youth Liaison Officer, for making magic happen. She also thanked Patricia’s husband Mark and their four children Maria, Sean, Mark and Matthew who spent endless hours working in their bubble on Lilliput Way to ensure it was simply beautiful.
The pupils of Kilteevan National School were thanked for the poem Queen Luna’s Plea which they composed especially for Lilliput Way.
Afterwards Tommy Dolan, Eamon O Connor, their grandchildren and Santa were invited to cut the ribbon and officially open Lilliput Way.
After the curtting of the ribbon Laura Gallagher spoke about the importance of Kilteevan’s Special Area of Conservation stating that the area had some of the most pristine boglands in the country.
Cathryn Hannon thanked Eileen Fahey and Kilteevan Tidy Towns for their ground breaking work and said the group was leading the way nationally in relation to community engagement with peatlands.
Following the official opening, Santa in the interest of equality, paid a very socially distant visit to the gate of Kilteevan National School, where he presented the Principal with a basket of healthy, zero waste, personalised treats, for every child in the school. Santa explained to the Principal, Mrs Collette Brennan, that the treats had been quarantined for 14 days at the North Pole.
18 December 2020