Nowhere would Ciara rather be than in Offaly’s hometown

“Growing up a teenager in a small village, I couldn’t wait to escape Killeigh and all her quiet, at least I thought so. However, now as an adult there is nowhere else I would rather be. Born and raised in Killeigh, the furthest I have ever moved was to Tullamore, but I was never able to settle in the city and ten years ago when the opportunity arose to return to Killeigh, I jumped at the chance.


I’m the middle child of five, three brothers and one sister – and yes, before you ask, middle child syndrome exists, that’s one thing and that’s where all my problems come from. – kidding aside though, besides being the middle child, growing up in our house was great; Of course, there were times when we wanted to murder each other and got closer on more than one occasion, but we held back (or more so, we were held back).

Elementary school started for me when I was just four years old in 1985 in Old School Killeigh (Now the Gaa Club). We then moved across the road to the new school in 1988 and then to Sacré-CÅ“ur in Tullamore for high school. It’s amazing how I can say that some of the girls I met on that very first day in juniors 35 years ago are still among my closest friends. We’ve shared so much together: innocent rounds and red rover games in the school yard, camping in the fields at the back of a certain person’s house (girls, I know you remember all from the night I’m on Our first night sneaking around to drink cans… 7UP if I remember correctly), our first night at the infamous Harriers nightclub and now here we are, all raised with our own children and still sharing a bond with the village we grew up in.

Friday evenings as teenagers were spent at the Macra Room Youth Club (now the site of our new community center). We did everything from basketball and unihoc to debates, day trips and weekends. Anyone who was lucky enough to attend will tell you it was very craic. Remembering our days in the old Killeigh Youth Club allows me to make sure that a suitable community center is sorely lacking in our village.

Anyone who knows me more than likely knows me as the big one in the store who can’t stop talking (I’ve heard this time and time again and, in all honesty, it’s true), but, away from the store counter, I don’t am not one to be in the limelight. Despite this, in 2018, I decided to totally step out of my comfort zone and offer to participate in ‘Strictly Jigs and Reels’. What I was thinking, I don’t know – I have two left feet and I dance like an elephant – Joking aside, however, it was without a doubt one of the best decisions of my life.

What I gained from these few months, I will never be able to put it into words. One thing is for sure, I have met the most amazing group of people EVER. We laughed, we chuckled, we almost cried sometimes, we sweated, and believe it or not, we even learned a step or two. After participating in Strictly and seeing so many people in the community come together, work together, perform together and have a great time, all to support a great cause, it only strengthened my belief that we need help. ‘a community center in Killeigh.

“We can and we will”

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