MAYNOOTH’s forthcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade should be a special one for at least one group in the town who have been making careful preparations for it.
Those who attend courses at the Eve Larine centre in the centre of the town will have a float second to none when the show gets going from the Greenfield shopping centre on the day.
The HSE run centre, which is located at the town public car park, combines a garden centre with courses aimed at those with mental health issues including depression.
Tina Murphy, the centre arts, craft and ceramics, instructor/supervisor, Martin Carter, have been leading the float preparations and the evidence suggests the people of Maynooth will be treated to an artistic feast following twelve months work on the float, which will be in fifth or sixth position at the top of the parade.
The multi talented Ms. Murphy has been preparing the parade using the Grainne Maol legend as a theme and the story of one Ireland most famous leaders will inform the 16-20 foot float and giant head which they have been making, with recyclable materials.
But, she said, they would appreciate it if any member of the public could supply three old haversack harnesses. This April, the centre will be 20 years in Maynooth on 4 April. The courses attempts to reduce the stigma associated with mental health, said Martin.
“We need the community to know what we are doing and get involved,” said Tina, who acknowledged support from local business and indicated a use for unwanted election posters.
Those on the course have benefited from a EU travel project over the past twelve months, visiting Newcastle (UK), Venice (Italy) and Antwerp (Belgium).
The group has been taken part in the EU Grundtvig project and received a grant of €18,000. It involves creating a project through art and crafts.
While the Maynooth group went abroad, they played hosts to groups from other groups from Lithuania, Belgium, Italy and England
One of the travellers, Derek (49), who lives near Leixlip, left Ireland for the first time in his life: “It opened my eyes,” he told the Leader, said of his visit to Lithuania and Belgium.
“It surprised me to see no walls,” he said of the centres similar to the Maynooth one they visited. “I loved Belgium. Some of them were nice,” he said.
The centre, which many in Maynooth may not know exists, has a garden centre, use by the public relax.
A new shop at the centre will open soon.