May Meitheal brings fresh look to Roscrea



“Ní neart go cur le chéile” is an old Irish proverb which has many translations – among them “many hands make light work”. This was definitely the case recently when a large group of volunteers from Turas Nua joined others from Roscrea Community Employment Forum and Roscrea Tidy Towns members to complete some long-needed painting of the Mall Railings and those adjacent to the Post Office.

Roscrea Tidy Towns were delighted when Chairman Denis Ryan was contacted recently by Gráinne Hogan on behalf of Turas Nua offering their services to Tidy Towns for a half day to do some work for the group.

Accepting their gracious offer, it was decided that Roscrea Tidy Town members would use the large group to paint the railings on the Mall and, if time allowed, elsewhere in the town as they had earmarked this activity in their plans.

The volunteers arrived around 9.30am on Friday morning and soon got to work. The Turas Nua volunteers came fully prepared with their high visibility jackets, brushes, cleaning cloths and containers for paint. Commuters passing by the Mall that morning must have been amazed by the large amount of people spread along the railings, all in their high visibility jackets busily attacking the tasks of cleaning and painting.

Everyone was in good spirits and the work progressed in quick time. Because of the number of volunteers, no one person had a huge amount to do. It’s great when such a large number of people attack a difficult task. Another great ‘Thank You’ must go to members of the Roscrea Methodist Church who were hosting a coffee morning in support of Christian Aid. They informed the painters there was a cup of tea/coffee available to all of them, free of charge.

The word Meitheal aptly describes this type of co-operation. Google offers this explanation of Meitheal: -

Meitheal is the Irish word for a work team, gang, or party and denotes the co-operative labour system in Ireland where groups of neighbours help each other in turn with farming work, such as harvesting crops. ... Meitheal is the Irish expression of the ancient and universal appliance of cooperation to social need.

Work progressed quickly and by 11.30am the work on the Mall railings was completed. They then moved on to the railings outside the Post Office and those across the roads. These were completely painted by 12.30pm.

Roscrea Tidy Towns would like to thank Turas Nua volunteers in particular, Roscrea CE Forum and their own Tidy Towns members for their generosity in giving of their time to help improve their wonderful town of Roscrea.

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