Members of a small Co. Leitrim parish have taken the future of the primary school into their own hands by advertising for families to move to the area.
Parishioners in the picturesque village of Kiltyclogher in north Leitrim have launched a nationwide campaign ‘KiltyLive’ to advertise their rural community in the hope that families will consider making it home.
The primary school in Kiltyclogher currently has 14 pupils and if another family does not move to the area by September to enrol just one more student, the school will lose one of its two teachers and could face closure.
“We need 15 kids to get two teachers,” Fr Patrick Farrelly PP told The Irish Catholic, adding “a one-teacher school is not really viable anymore”. He said the school board had held a number of meetings with local TDs and councillors, before local parents decided to take action themselves.
Fr Farrelly, who has ministered in the parish for five years, said there was good community spirit in the area and he was very happy there.
With a population of just 233, Fr Farrelly said the border village has been hit hard by emigration and would benefit from Government funding. He said he thought the KiltyLive campaign “was a good idea” and “has put Leitrim on the map”.
The online campaign encourages people who are “tired of the hustle, bustle and expenses of city life” to consider a move to a “safe, tranquil North Leitrim village”.
According to campaigners the benefits of the move include the award-winning national school as well as the fact the area is steeped in culture and history – being birthplace of the one of the 1916 Proclamation Signatories, Sean Mac Diarmada.
The campaign has received many enquiries, including a family with five children, which organisers will assess in a meeting today.
Information on the campaign is available on Facebook @Kiltylive or email firstname.lastname@example.org