“People of Killeigh & Beyond” #01
Growing up as a teenager in a small village I couldn’t wait to escape Killeigh and all its quietness, or so I thought. However, now, as an adult, there is nowhere else I would rather be. Born and bred in Killeigh, the furthest I had ever moved was to Tullamore, but I could never settle in the town and ten years ago, when the chance came to move back to Killeigh, I jumped at it.
“I am the middle child of five, three brothers and one sister - and yes before you ask, middle child syndrome does exist, it is a thing and it is where I get all my issues from”
all joking aside though, apart from being the middle child, growing up in our house was great; sure there were times when we wanted to murder each other and we came close on more than one occasion, but we held back (or more so we were restrained).
Primary school began for me when I was just four years old in 1985 in the old school in Killeigh (Now The Gaa Club). We then moved across the road to the new school in 1988, then on to The Sacred Heart in Tullamore for secondary school. It’s amazing to be able to say that some of the girls I met on that very first day in Junior infants 35 years ago are still some of my closest friends. We have shared so much together: from the innocent games of rounders and red rover in the school playground, to camping up in the fields at the back of a certain person’s house (Girls, I know you all remember the night I’m on about. Our first night sneaking off to drink cans … 7UP if I remember correctly), our first night out in the infamous Harriers nightclub and now, here we are, all grown up with kids of our own and yet still sharing a connection to the village we grew up in.
Friday nights as teenagers were spent at the Youth club in the Macra Hall (Now the site for our New Community Centre). We did everything from basketball, unihoc and debating to day trips and weekends away. Anyone who was lucky enough to attend will tell you it was mighty craic. Remembering our days in Killeigh’s one-time youth club makes me sure that a proper community centre is something sorely lacking in our village.
Anyone who knows me more than likely knows me as the tall one from the shop that never stops talking (I’ve heard it many a time and, in fairness, it’s true), but, away from the shop counter, I’m not one for being in the limelight at all. Despite that, in 2018 I decided to totally step out of my comfort zone and put myself forward to take part in ‘Strictly Jigs and Reels’. What I was thinking I don’t know - have two left feet and I dance like an elephant - All joking aside, however, it was undoubtedly one of the best decisions of my life. What I gained from those few months I’ll never be able to put into words. One thing is for sure, I met the most amazing group of people EVER. We laughed, we sneered, we almost cried at times, we sweated buckets and, believe it or not, we even learned a step or two. After taking part in Strictly and seeing so many people from the community come together, work together, perform together and just have a brilliant time, all in support of a good cause, that only strengthened my belief that we need a community centre in Killeigh”
“We can and we will”
- Ciara O Brien