Official opening of Granard Butter Market
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring T.D., today announced the successful projects under the Department of Rural and Community Development's Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017 at the official opening of the recently-refurbished Granard Butter Market, funded by the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2016. The project was undertaken by Longford County Council in partnership with the Granard Butter Market Committee, and aims to bring the Granard Butter Market back into active use as a public amenity for the benefit of the community. The work included the conservation of the historic stone boundary walls and the provision of a covered market and public gathering space, as well as the paving and landscaping of the historic site.
The Granard butter market dates back to October 1870, when the "Butter Buyers of Ireland [were invited] to attend their markets on Mondays where every accommodation would be afforded by the inhabitants". The market was set up to allow dairy and butter producers in the region sell their goods wholesale to the market, which was then transported by rail from the nearby train stations at Ballywillin and Edgeworthstown onto its final destination. Since the closure of the butter market over seventy years ago, community groups, in particular the Granard Butter Market Committee, have been championing its reuse as a vibrant market venue and community space.
Speaking of the occasion, Cllr P.J. Reilly, Cathaoirleach of the Granard Municipal District, "This is a very special occasion for Granard to see this butter market restored to such beautiful condition. I want to thank Minister Ring for the funding which made it possible. I would like to pay tribute the members of Granard Butter Market Committee, who have worked so hard over the past number of years to this excellent community amenity restored to its former glory. "
Chief Executive of Longford County Council, Paddy Mahon, also welcomed the investment in the Butter Market, saying that, "It is a wonderful example of a successful partnership between the Local Community, the Local Authority and the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The first action identified in the Government's Action Plan for Rural Development, which was launched in January of this year in County Longford, calls for an enhanced Town and Village Renewal Scheme to improve the living and working environment of rural dwellers. The opening of the Butter Market today meets the requirements of this action and will support the revitalisation of Granard and County Longford."
In total €640,000 was allocated to County Longford under the 2017 scheme, including €200,000 towards the development of the Longford Innovation & Digital Hub, in the former Providers Building in Longford town, a development that was hailed by Minister of State, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, T.D. Projects in Ardagh, Ballymahon, Edgeworthstown, Granard, Lanesborough, Lisryan, Mullinalaghta, Newtowncashel and Newtownforbes were also successful.