Tidy Towns & Environment

Cong Village Tidy Towns                                                                                                                         

The committee would like to appeal to all property owners, and in particular, the vacant properties on the approach roads and in around the village, to clean and paint their properties for the  coming tidy towns national competition. Cong is in the top 10 places to visit in Ireland as per Tripadvisor ratings and we are the only village on the list. We are doing all we can to keep Cong looking it’s best we appeal to you to help us by presenting your property or business at it’s best too.


Flood Defences in Cong

After two months without much rain and with water levels at a record low it is hard to imagine that there was such flooding around Cong less than three years ago. But the Ballinrobe office of Mayo Co. Council has given notice that flood barriers are being installed along the river beside the Cong church car park. The area of the car park close to the river will be cordoned off during this work. Able bodied people are asked to park in the public car park to allow space for those who need to park nearer to the church.


Kilmaine Walkway

Kilmaine Walkway is open to anybody who wishes to use it at any time day or night. At the moment our walking group is on at 8pm Monday & Thursday evenings. Come along and join us and bring a Friend.. Check us out on facebook Kilmaine Walkway to keep up to date.. If you are dropping any child off to training or waiting on a match to finish why not get active and get in a few laps.

Wednesday Music Sessions at St. Mary’s Church of Ireland

Music Sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings through August and September at St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Cong and will feature some of Ireland’s finest traditional singers and musicians Pauline Scanlon (Lumiere), Eoin Wynne, Nicola Joyce (The Whileaways), Fabian Joyce and Eamon Murray (Beoga) for an  intimate evening of music and song.  Admission €15, 8pm (75 min)

A portion of the proceeds will go to support St.Mary’s C.OF I

The Crossroads Community Centre

Exciting Opportunity | The Crossroads Centre Activities Coordinator.

As part of the exciting developments in The Crossroads Centre we are looking for an enthusiastic and energetic person to bring the centre to the next level as the Activities Coordinator.

We have put together a comprehensive job description below.  If you think this challenge is right for you we would welcome your application for the post.  Please email your CV and covering note to thecrossroadscong@gmail.com with the subject line Activities Co-ordinator Vacancy or post to us at the address below:

The Chairperson, The Crossroads Centre, Cong, Co. Mayo, F31 PY97

Job Specification & Terms and Conditions

Job Title  

The Crossroads Centre Activities Coordinator


Purpose of the Post


The purpose of this post is to coordinate the day-to-day operations and organisation of activities in the Crossroads Centre and further develop, enhance and promote service provision thereby supporting the Centre in its efforts to provide access to support, services and information for families, individuals and groups in the Cong area and surrounds. Its services are designed based on the principles of inclusiveness and integration for all social groups, including older people, the unemployed and people with disabilities.
Reporting RelationshipThe Crossroads Centre Activities Coordinator will report to the Operations Manager of Cong Community Centre Ltd.
Working Hours39 hours per week (excluding lunch breaks). Due to the nature of the work evening and weekend work will be necessary. Any time worked over 39 hours will be given in via Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) system. Timesheets must be kept.
Location of PostThe Activities Coordinator will be based in the Crossroads Centre in Cong Co. Mayo.
Remuneration€21,000 per annum


Details of ServiceThe Crossroads Centre is a state of the art facility to serve a parish, consisting of three villages, Cong Cross and the Neale in Co. Mayo Ireland. This centre’s business name is The Crossroads Centre. It is owned by the Community, under a Voluntary Board of Directors and Members, the legal company name is Cong Community Centre Ltd.

The Crossroads Centre aims to benefit all local people, groups and organisations. It is a not-for-profit community, voluntary and charitable organisation. It is a social enterprise initiative set up to develop services and facilities which are commercial in nature to provide social and community gain. This multi-purpose facility is 7,600 sq feet and incorporates an exhibition/foyer area, fully functioning corporate type kitchen, large and small meeting rooms, a heritage quarter and a large hall for special occasions.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities


Work with the Cong Community Centre Ltd Board, the Crossroads Management Committee, other local committees and representatives to assume the following duties and responsibilities:


Marketing/Promotion to increase footfall to the Centre and the Number of Community/Voluntary groups using the facility in order to increase traded revenues:

  • Website and social media upkeep, Newsletter, Press releases
  • Sourcing new service-users, support fundraising activity, signs and promote community events
  • Work with academic and professional bodies and other relevant stakeholders in relation to promoting usage of the Crossroads Centre.
  • Research viability of various projects e.g. Night Classes/courses from 2nd and 3rdlevel colleges and examine sources of potential funding from government bodies, local authorities and NGOs
  • Development of Heritage Quarter /Tourism


  • Deal with enquiries and maintain record of enquiries
  • Take bookings for centre and for courses, send out application form; book rooms
  • Prepare flyers for advertising activities and managing bookings of rooms in the centre
  • Ensure users have adequate insurance cover
  • Accurately record minutes of all meetings relevant to coordinating activities of the centre.
  • Maintain database of usage of centre.
  • Evaluation of service provision including seeking feedback from users
  • Maintain necessary records with regard to the Crossroads Centre Safety Regulations and the provision of reports following accidents or near misses.
  • Maintain necessary records/inventory with regard to stock and equipment
  • Collect room hire rentals and keep records of payments. Maintain efficient and accurate computerised accounts for the centre
  • Maintain petty cash system and record monies spent
  • Pay expenses to employees and service providers and maintain records
  • Work within budget for specific community events

Maintenance of the Centre

The Crossroads Activities Coordinator will ensure:

  • Open & closing of The Crossroads Centre as required
  • Setting up rooms for different activities
  • Adequate security arrangements
  • Contact person(s) for issues relating to use of centre.
  • Liaising with key people as needed e.g. Rural Social Scheme local participants as required
  • Regular attendance at Board/Committee meetings as requested
  • To contribute as member of a team engaging with other members of staff working in the Crossroads Centre

Event catering:

The Crossroads Centre is registered with the HSE Environmental Health Service as a Food Business limited to the preparation and service of soup, sandwiches, scones and beverages.

  • Ensure compliance with Food Safety Legislation
  • Liaise with Rural Social Scheme Supervisor re food safety management system
  • Ordering food provision from external providers as required.
  • Promote quality provision of light refreshments to support community events


  • Attend regular supervision meetings with the Operations Manager as Line Manager
  • Attend when invited or required other Committees/Groups that use the Crossroads Centre
  • Prepare reports for the Cong Community Centre Board in particular the Annual General Meeting
  • Follow up on actions arising from Board, supervision and other meetings


The Crossroads Centre Activities Coordinator during the period of employment or at any time after the termination of the employment may not disclose any confidential information in respect of the employer or information relating to the work or staff participating or working in the Crossroads Centre.

The above Job Description is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the duties involved and consequently, the Crossroads Activities Coordinator may be required to perform other duties as appropriate to the post by the Voluntary Board of Directors.

This job description may be reviewed, updated and/or amended from time to time inline with the needs of the service as required by Board of Directors and Management.

Eligibility Criteria



Applicants must by the closing date of application possess the following:

  • Good level of general education
  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience in a similar role is desirable
  • Proficient in the use of IT software packages, namely Microsoft office, ability to work with website and social media
  • Experience of working with the public
  • Willingness to learn new skills
  •  Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a team

Additionally, to comply with CSP criteria, the applicant must be from one of the following target groups:

a. A person in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB), Jobseeker’s Assistance (JA), one parent family payment (OPF) or the Jobseeker Transitional Payment

b. Persons in receipt of disability allowance (DA), invalidity pension, blind persons pension or other disability benefit.

c. Travellers in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Assistance or one parent family benefit.

d. Stabilised and recovering drug mis‐users.

e. People employed from Tús, Gateway, Community Employment (CE) and Job Initiatives (JI) schemes are deemed eligible. Former RSS workers who were previously CE participants are also eligible.

f. Ex‐prisoners.


A candidate for and any person holding the office must be fully competent and capable of undertaking the duties attached to the office and be in a state of health such as would indicate a reasonable prospect of ability to render regular and efficient service.


Each candidate for and any person holding the office must be of good character. Garda vetting will be required.


To comply with the CSP funding conditions, the applicant must be under 66 years of age.

Skills, competencies and knowledge


The successful candidate will demonstrate:

Knowledge and Skills:

  • The core principles and values of the Crossroads Centre
  • Ability to engage and communicate with users of the Crossroads Centre
  • Demonstrate a willingness to develop skills and learning about the Crossroads Centre social enterprise
  • Demonstrate ability to facilitate change to promote the centre
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply knowledge to best practice
  • Demonstrate the ability to empathise with and treat others with dignity and respect.
  • High level of I.T. skills, in particular MS Word (for letters, reports, minutes etc), MS Excel (to set up spreadsheets for accounts etc).

Communication and Interpersonal Skills:

  • Good customer/hospitality skills.
  • Good communication skills, negotiation skills, excellent organisational ability.
  • Understanding of the key issues involved in managing a centre which could be used by individuals; small and large groups
  • To communicate effectively across a wide range of services and agencies.
  • Ability to write reports on service usage


Commitment to providing a quality service

  • The ability to promote and implement change for the good of the service including identifying areas for improvement.

“This project is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Pobal through the Community Services Programme”



All 28 rescued Jack Russell terriers have found homes thanks to the ISPCA

 ALL 28 JACK Russell terrier dogs and puppies were recently given to the ISPCA have been reserved after the charity issued an appeal online.

The ISPCA responded to a call expressing concern for the welfare of 28 dogs on a property recently and found that they had been allowed to breed freely and the number of dogs was spiralling out of control.

The dogs were taken to the National Animal Centre in Longford for veterinary care. The majority of the dogs found were just 18 months old or less, and the group included 17 puppies.

The charity released images of the dogs online last Friday and they gained a huge amount of social media attention.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie this morning, a spokesperson for the ISPCA said:

The ISPCA is delighted all 28 Jack Russell Terrier dogs and puppies recently rescued have all been reserved pending home visits and will be going to their new homes shortly.

All the dogs and puppies at the National Animal Centre are neutered or spayed, micro-chipped, vaccinated and treated for parasites before being responsibly rehomed.

The ISPCA said that the rescue and rehabilitation of such a large number of dogs and puppies places a significant amount of pressure on the ISPCA, both financially and in terms of accommodating such an influx of animals.

In light of the rescue of the large group of Jack Russell terriers, the charity has issued a reminder to pet owners that spaying or neutering “is the kindest thing you can do for your pets”.

“Not only does it bring many positive benefits for both owners and their pets like reducing the risk of certain cancers, curbing unwanted sexual behaviour, marking, but it also improves health and lifespan,” the spokesperson said.

“In the majority of cases, neutering or spaying is the best thing you can do for your pets, so please speak to your vet today.”

Last year, 16,312 calls were made to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline, resulting in over 3,200 investigations. In total, 995 animals were seized or surrendered.

The National Animal Centre in Longford is open every Wednesday to Sunday between 11.30am and 4pm, where visitors can meet the animals in the centre’s care.

For more information about other dogs and puppies who are in need of a home, click here.


Fighting Isolation and Loneliness in Men – the extraordinary power of the Men’s Shed

Men’s Sheds: An Antidote to Loneliness and Isolation

John Evoy could have done with a support like Men’s Shed when he was a young man. Having struggled with issues common to so many young men himself, when he visited his first Men’s Shed in Australia, he realised it’s what had been missing in his home country all along.

“When I was younger, I experienced some of the issues that some of the guys in the sheds are going through and I have a lot of empathy with them. I was born and raised on a farm in Co Wexford, and I ended up living alone with my grandmother through certain circumstances in late teens and 20s. At the time, I also stopped farming. We sold the cows, which was a huge deal, especially because of the intergenerational links with the farm and the importance of the land in Ireland. I felt so isolated.”

Joyce Country wheelin’

WHEN the whole country was told to enjoy the sunshine because it would be the last we’d see of it I raised my hand in Mayo News HQ to discover some tourism gems.


What better way to spend a day than rediscovering some of my favourite spots around Mayo, and in the sunshine no less. The only downside to getting out of the office for the day was my mode of transport, I offered to visit ‘Joyce Country’ by bike, forgetting that the last time I was on the saddle was nearly a year ago.

After a few false starts (borrowing a bike only to find it was meant for someone over six foot tall) I hit towards the border, on a mountain bike with deflating tyres. The dodgy tyres couldn’t deflate the mood though, the sky was blue, the tunes were great (yes, I had earphones in, but the music was really low, I promise) and the open road meandering through the Lough Mask area and over the border.


To read more click here: Mayonews

‘Nana is a celebrity now’: The story behind this heartwarming photo


This photograph was voted the winner of Centra’s #LiveToday competition, celebrating living in the moment. More than a thousand people entered – but Martina Corry, 24, from Clare won the popular vote with this striking image of her grandmother waiting at the door to go to a party.

Here, Martina tells the story behind the picture – and how her grandmother’s approach to life has influenced the family. 

THIS IS A photo of my grandmother Josie O’Brien, but Nana O’Brien to all of us. She’s 88. She was the youngest of eight, but she’s the last one remaining. It was taken in Tula, Co Clare, where she lives.
Click to read the full article: TheJournal.ie

Family hail community response in search for son

The family of an Erris man who drowned at sea last year have hailed the ‘incredible’ support they received from the community in the search for his body.
The body of Daniel Doherty (22) was found in Lacken Bay on September 25, two weeks after he went missing whilst out working his lobster pots off the Erris coast.
An inquest into his death last Wednesday heard that the huge land and sea search saw hundreds of people lend their support.
Figures from the Irish Coast Guard show that 150 people helped during the week and that figure rose to 500 at the weekend. However, the family stress these figures just account for those who signed up at a local community centre – many more simply joined the search mid stream.

“The help we got from the wider community was incredible. We will be forever grateful,” Daniel’s mother Noreen said afterwards.

Click to read the full article: Mayonews

Fashion and fizz at The Lodge

AN evening of fashion, fizz and elegance will take place at The Lodge at Ashford this Saturday to raise funds for Cong Village playground.
A selection of Autumn/Winter fashions will be showcased by Catwalk Model Agency who will bring to life the latest trends from eleven ladies boutiques across the west of Ireland.

Cupcakes and prosecco will greet those in attendance and all proceeds on the night will go towards the much needed Cong Village playground which will be a reality in time for summer 2017.

Organiser Suzanne Devereux says it’s going to be a fantastic evening of fashion adding that The Lodge at Ashford was the ‘perfect venue’.

Fundraising for the playground, which is planned to start early next year, near the new carpark outside the village, started last October.

“It’s something we’ve needed for years and years and we’ve been trying to raise funds and secure the site. We hope to get LEADER funding next year,” explained Susan.

To date, the Cong playground committee has raised €16,000. The committee along with Cong Tidy Towns would like to thank Sweeney Oil and The Lodge at Ashford Castle for their generous support for this event.


Source: http://www.mayonews.ie/news/28677-fashion-and-fizz-at-the-lodge