When his fingers started to dance to the music on the arm of his chair they knew he felt at home.
During a traditional music session at the Rathmore Social Action Group a new resident is settling into his new surroundings.
Aged 85 the Kerryman, and his younger brother, recently left their isolated home in the mountains near the Cork-Kerry border to exchange isolation for a happier home where care, attention and respect are paramount.
Now the two brothers share a sheltered house – one of 27 provided by the Action Group which was first started in 1975 by local teacher Jerh O’Donoghue.
“The whole issue of active citizenship was key since day one. I wanted the students in St. Mary’s secondary school here in Rathmore to come up with ways in which they could help the older community and it snowballed from there,” explains Jerh O’Donoghue.
And as the Group’s catchment area encompasses much of the Sliabh Luachra area of East Kerry and North Cork traditional music, song, dance and poetry are provided for and by residents.
Last year the National Lottery granted the Group funding of €19,295 which will be used to help redevelop the former Presentation Convent to create several new apartments as well as a residential area for the remaining Sisters.
While social housing, day centre, meals on wheels and laundry services are all available to the older population of Rathmore and the surrounding areas the Social Action Group also provide a Youth Creativity Centre named Teach Iosagain. With meeting rooms, a community gym, birthday party facilities, a disco hall and film making room it’s a hub of activity throughout the year.
And so, with the help of Lottery funding, young and old join forces in this corner of the Kingdom to improve the lives of all who live there.
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on National Lottery games go back to funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.