Granard Butter Market Official Opening
The Granard Butter Market was officially opened by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, who also announced the successful projects under the Department of Rural and Community Development's Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017.
The Butter Market was funded by the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2016. Undertaken by Longford County Council in partnership with the Granard Butter Market Committee, it brings Granard Butter Market back into 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 paving and landscaping.
Dating back to 1870, Granard Butter Market was set up to allow the region's dairy and butter producers to sell their goods wholesale to the market. These goods were then transported by rail at Ballywillin and Edgeworthstown onto their final destinations. Since the closure of Granard Butter Market over 70 years ago, community groups have campaigned for its reuse as a vibrant market venue and community space.
Speaking of the occasion, Cllr PJ Reilly, Cathaoirleach of the Granard Municipal District said: "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: "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."
For the successful projects under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme 2017, €640,000 was allocated to County Longford. This includes €200,000 towards the development of the Longford Innovation & Digital Hub, in the former Providers Building in Longford town. Projects in Ardagh, Ballymahon, Edgeworthstown, Granard, Lanesborough, Lisryan, Mullinalaghta, Newtowncashel and Newtownforbes were also successful.