There’s no doubt that the shadow of the COVID pandemic hasn’t completely passed over us but more and more the sense that it’s receding to be replaced by something resembling normality is taking hold.
his is what I felt when I was in Macroom on fair day this week as I had been involved in an interview for a programme about the Briery Gap.
I took a quick skite to the market in the Square to buy some provisions and most, if not all, of the stalls that had been there before COVID-19 hit had returned. The market wasn’t as busy, it seemed, as it used to be but it wasn’t a particularly nice day either so things will improve.
What’s really noticeable is the return of regular events – my mother has been going to bridge in Coolcower and Macroom for several weeks now and there’s also a new singing night after starting up on a Monday in Kilmurry’s Independence Museum.
Also in Kilmurry, the GAA club has started work on a major development of a new pitch and club house complex to be located in Crookstown.
Another GAA story of note is the holding this weekend of a double header in the Town Park when Macroom will take on Boherbue and Cill na Martra will face Castletownbere in the semi-finals of the Tom Creedon Cup.
These are all signs of returning vitality to the town and they’re incredibly important as, we’re told again and again of the impending impact of the bypass (the latest estimated completion date of the Macroom section is, it seems, October).
The one thing that I also notice as I walk around town is the number of closed shops and apparently vacant if not derelict buildings.
This is a major challenge for every town in Ireland of course and will have to be faced up to sooner rather later in order to improve lives for all.