Below is the in-depth report from the Asdee Community Development Association Virtual AGM Wednesday 21st April 2021. We would also like to sincerely thank Mike Rice for his write-up in the Asdee notes following the AGM.
Secretary Mary Mulvihill brought everyone up to date on all activities and actions since the previous AGM in 2019. These are in no particular order;
Councillor allocation for 2019 was €13,500, all this money was put towards phase 1 of upgrading the footpaths in the village. We would like to thank each of the councillors for their contribution, to Andy Smith and all the engineers involved in the works.
We would also like to acknowledge the Engineers that came out to assess Lacey’s Cross and the Bridge.
A WhatsApp group was set up to allow for regular communication. Anyone who would like to be added to the list or to get involved, please contact any of the committee.
We had a great response to the KWD County clean up in April of 2019 – thanks to all townlands for getting involved.
Village in Bloom continued their fantastic work in enhancing our village – from setting flowers and shrubs, to power washing to cutting grass, painting and much more.
In June of 2019, the community came together for a beautiful remembrance in memory of Fr. Moore on Littor Beach. There was a walk organised from the Store to Littor, where there was music, song and poetry along with refreshments and general good fun and laughter on the beach.
It was lovely to see the village come together to have a party in the Community Centre for Mairead Doyle’s retirement. It acknowledged Mairead’s tremendous contribution to the community. The support at the time was evident – Mairead we wish you many years of health and happiness.
Across the Autumn months, we worked on a fundraiser which comprised of a dance in the Community Centre – this was very well supported.
To keep the village busy and lights on in the Community Centre, night classes were organised across the winter months. We had everything from circuits to yoga, dance and cards. We got a fantastic response to these with people from neighbouring villages coming to attend. The tutors wanted to return, however, COVID-19 prohibited this in 2020.
Eoin Kennedy developed our own website asdeevillage.com
It created an online platform to keep people informed and up to date, little did we know then the benefits it would bring in 2020 – this will be discussed later. On behalf of all the community – we would like to acknowledge and thank Eoin for all the time and effort he puts into developing and maintaining the website.
Christmas of 2019 saw a bigger and better event in the Community Centre. To kickstart the evening, we had the lighting ceremony on the Church grounds – thanks to all involved from sourcing the tree to lighting it. We then proceeded to the Community Centre, where children could meet with Santa, photos were taken and shared with parents, the back room was used as a kids room with puppet show and music and a Christmas fair in the main hall for adults to enjoy – there was something for everyone. Fiona Enright along with others were involved in the project – you all know who you are and thank you for all the prep and making it a success.
The crib was recreated for Christmas 2019 and it was a big attraction across the downtime at Christmas. Thanks to Mairead and the committee involved and to all that visited and donated generously to its upkeep.
We got the green light of approval in June of 2019 for the Community Development Plan and from then, there was a steady workflow. I will summarise what we did in 2019 in relation to FLAG.
1. Engaged the services of Paul O Raw and Brendan O’ Caoimh.
2. Communicated the process with all the community in August, this meant going door to door with flyers, social media, notes in paper, posters, announcements at Mass, village signage, ad in Advertiser to name a few.
3. There were three main meetings that all the community were invited to held from September to December. The consultants said if we had 30 at a meeting, we would be aiming high based on the size of our population – however, we are delighted to say we had three times that amount.
4. These meetings allowed us to gather all the data required to start building a socio-economic development plan for Asdee. Everyone’s suggestions & ideas were put forward – young and old got involved, it was very inclusive and as a committee we would like to say a huge thank you to all the community in getting involved and supporting this process.
2020 got off to a great start with an injection of €18,000 from the councillors. This was put towards phase 2 of the footpath project. Thanks again to all the councillors and the team in KCC.
At this point, we would also like to acknowledge the SSE and local installer Ger Lyons for upgrading the village lighting to LED. Initially, we were told Asdee was on their 2021 list, so getting it completed ahead of time was a huge bonus. This has made a big difference to the visibility at night, making it much safer for pedestrians.
Unfortunately, it’s not always plain sailing, we had a setback in completing the Fr. Moore’s seat project when an ecological report was requested. This has significantly slowed down the process of getting it finished. Thankfully, we are back on track and the project is scheduled to finish this year.
The KWD county clean-up had to be officially cancelled, however, many people took to the roads in isolation. Thanks to all who helped keep Asdee clean.
We would like to thank Ned Morkan & Marie Lynch of Jack J’s bar, who gave us approval to move the bottle banks, we also got a grant of €500 towards the maintenance of them. Thanks to all who did the work on the new location. It looks great.
It was identified Asdee was listed as a “development node” in the Listowel Municipal District Plan. As soon as the committee became aware of this, we acted on it straight away. The reason for this is we were identified as having no infrastructure, no sewage and a low population. A detailed document was prepared to address the issues, this was communicated via the WhatsApp group, resulting in over 80 people from Asdee emailing KCC. The support was overwhelming, so much so we made the headlines on Radio Kerry. We are still waiting on an update.
I would like to thank Martin Stack and Donie O’ Keeffe for the work they have done so far in cleaning and upgrading the Shannon Way Trail, unfortunately COVID and weather did not allow the work to continue, however, it is certainly on the 2021 agenda.
It was great to see activity back in the village in September with the Tractor run – it certainly brightened the weekend for everyone as restrictions were slightly eased at the time. Thanks to everyone for adhering to the rules and all involved in organising it. Also, we would like to thank the Tractor run committee in remembering the Asdee Community Development Association when sharing funds.
Towards the end of 2020 the committee had a meeting with Pa Daly where we addressed the following: Sewage scheme, advantages of being on the Wild Atlantic Way and the signage of it, the Bridge, Lacey’s cross and the village status.
Even though we couldn’t celebrate Christmas as we did in years past, we still didn’t let it go without making our mark with a special convoy of tractors all lit up for Christmas.
We were thankful to have the lighting ceremony and thanks to those who sorted the tree and lights and to Mossie O’ Carroll for turning on the lights.
There was extensive work done on preparing the Crib to allow people to wait outside to comply with Government guidelines. Thanks to the committee, school, Montessori and Joe Dee & CE Scheme for their help. We were grateful to have the crib open even though we took the decision to close it early – we were inundated with visitors and in the interest of human safety we closed it early due to increasing numbers of COVID-19.
On a more positive note, for the first time we decided to sell Christmas cards and have our very own Asdee calendar. We were really blown away by the response – we promise to have more stock this Christmas. Thanks to all who supported and purchased something.
The Christmas Raffle to win an entertainment system proved very popular. It was a great means of fundraising in what was a difficult year, the support was amazing.
When we first started out as a group, we did not think we would have an online shop and selling items such as tickets for raffles, canvases, photo slates, beautiful photo prints from around Asdee within our first 3 years. So far, it is very successful, and we plan to add something new to the shop every year.
To live stream Christmas Mass was something new for Asdee but something that didn’t faze us. Eoin Kennedy and Jimmy Quinn – ye brought so much joy to people that they could log on to watch Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Mass from the comfort of their own home. As well as having locals log on, we saw a lot log on from abroad – many who couldn’t get home for Christmas. Thank you for bringing a sense of inclusion during a difficult time.
And last of the updates for 2020, but certainly not least…what was the highlight of the year – The Asdee Socio Economic Development Plan.
Lorraine McElligott was project manager for the plan and she left no stone unturned. There was a lot of work, time, effort, etc put into the creation of it. It gives us a roadmap, and everyone is clear on the objectives. While officially launched on 16th August, there seemed to be an endless list of tasks in preparing for that date by a very dedicated team who wanted perfection.
There was tough debate over almost everything from who to do the voiceover for our video, which was so well created by Eoin, and I think we all agree Daithi O’ Se was the ideal voice over artist for it, to the guest list, communication to the members of the community and other groups, neighbouring villages and groups, music, speakers, location, marquee, photographer, PR and a many many more items.
We felt we were on a winning streak to get Daithi to agree to the voice over, but having Katie Hannon officially launch and people like Minister Norma Foley, and others attend was icing on the cake.
In addition to this, we had to be 100% COVID-19 compliant and Sinead Doyle our COVID officer kept us on the straight and narrow. The plan was promised to every household in the community within 2 weeks and I can safely say 95% of that was achieved by the first weekend.
The village of Asdee certainly made headlines and the PR obtained was incredible both pre and post the launch. It included some of the following:
Local press – Kerryman, KerrysEye, Advertiser and Radio Kerry as a story, an interview and Frank Lewis visited and did a full 2-hour programme on the plan.
National press including – Irish Examiner, RTE Radio One and Agriland.
And when it came to the Media our first point of contact was our chairman John Kennedy, who never lets us down and always portrays Asdee in the best possible way.
The plan has allowed us to network and build relationships with KCC, Engineers, NEKWD, SSE, Failte Ireland, to name a few bodies. So much so, other groups are now being recommend to talk with us.
Our website stats saw over 55,000 hits within the first year from over 55 countries worldwide.
Our social media following significantly grew and we are now getting lots of engagement with likes, follows, shares etc. At present we have passed 1,000 Facebook followers and over 300 following us on Instagram.
Finally, Eoin created a brilliant video which was published online – 2020 in summary, I think this sums up the fantastic community spirit we have in Asdee.
And finally, I am almost there, it brings me to 2021, still in lockdown, but a village that is gaining more and more interest.
We thought we had good support in 2020 from the councillors, but this has been our best year yet, with an investment of €19,500 – huge thank you again for their continued support. To be fair, I can say it was the easiest year yet to get funds and that is credit to the community and the work being done by people every day.
Recently the Grotto was sandblasted by Jimmy O’ Carroll and what a difference it made – Jimmy thank you for your work and to the grotto committee – you know who you are, thank you. Funding from KCC through the Community Enhancement Programme has made this possible. The next phase of the project is to create an attractive public space around the Grotto.
The Village in Bloom team are out in force again. Well done, we are already seeing a difference and we are looking forward to seeing their plans come to fruition.
Finally, the work to the Shannon Way Trail will commence in next few months, restrictions and weather pending. We are delighted to say we have got financial support from KCC to help get this walkway open to the public. We are due to receive €5,000 in the coming months.
Recently we were successful in obtaining funding from NEKWD for a feasibility study for the Community Centre. We have engaged the services of Tom O’ Leary – we have had online calls and a site visit to date. We will keep you all posted as it progresses.
We have also applied for funding for a feasibility study for the river walk. We won’t know whether we are successful or not for a few weeks. (Update: we were successful & the study is commencing shortly.)
As a community, I think we should be extremely proud of ourselves in what has been achieved by a voluntary group and especially so, during these challenging times. To be honest, I think the greater the challenge the better we like it at times.
I would like to thank John & my fellow committee members for everything over the past two years. John is only a phone all away no matter the issue or update. He co-ordinates everything behind the scenes and I’ve yet to hear him say he can’t make a meeting.
It has been an exciting two years for our village and long may it continue.
Thanks again to everyone, keep up the good work and I look forward to working with you all going forward. Thank you!