FOUR decades of community involvement and enhancement will be celebrated this Friday night as the Develop Tullow Association marks its 40th anniversary. The night has been dubbed a ‘trip down memory lane’ and all in Tullow are very welcome to join in the celebrations at the Tara Arms on Friday 8 November at 7.30pm.
Develop Tullow Association (DTA) was founded in November 1979 following a very well-attended public meeting in Tullow Community School. The meeting was the community’s response to increased dereliction in the town centre and a real commitment to take action. Those concerns prompted local business people Pat O’Farrell, PJ Griffin, the late Brian Flynn and the late Paddy Byrne to put their heads together with the aim of creating a town car park to improve trade.
Their vision led to the public meeting, which was chaired by then newly-elected local councillor Pat O’Toole and subsequently the founding of DTA. Early activities for DTA included lots of charity work for local causes and the establishment of a FAS scheme under the supervision of Jim Gorman, which provided much-needed local employment. Another early project was the setting up of a Christmas promotion scheme, designed to attract business into the town over the festive season.
Over the years, DTA has been involved in many activities and projects. And to ensure they were more efficient, it became necessary to set up sub-committees for events such as St Patrick’s Day as well as for organisations that included the local traders and Tidy Towns groups.
DTA and its sub-committees have been very active over the decades in organising and promoting various activities and projects. Highlights include the Wolseley Car Centenary and Festival in 1995, the 1798 bicentenary celebrations, hosting Bolivian athletes during the Special Olympics in 2003, overall winner of the National Pride of Place 2005 and last year’s very successful Christmas Market.
Major projects completed in co-operation with Carlow County Council over 40 years include Pairc Oghma, the town park and playground and, more recently, the Grass Roots Project at the entrance to the town park.
DTA continues to work on various projects, remaining as relevant today as it ever was. Current goals include the completion of an effective CCTV system in the town and the preparation of a new website.
The 2019 committee is composed of chairperson Kathy Walsh, secretary Margaret Kirwan, treasurer Denis Ryan, PRO Cora Murphy and committee members Mary Walsh, Peg Fleming, Laz Murphy, Pat Kirwan and William Roche.