St. Marys 19th Boy Scouts Athenry


The Boy Scouts were founded in Athenry in October 1985. It is largely thanks to the "Athenry Project Society" that this venture was successful. They contacted two Scout Leaders in Galway namely - Donal Coakley and Michael Cunningham, who were good enough to come out to Athenry to give all necessary information and help in setting up the unit.

A ‘Cub Pack’ was started and meetings were held in the Community Hall. Sean Lawless was the first unit leader, assisted by Ann Pomphret and Christy Caulfield, as scout leaders. Within a short period of time the number of new recruits seeking admission was growing. New leaders were needed badly as was a new "den or place of our own".

After much searching and enquiries locally, Sean Lawless contacted Rev. Canon Leslie Forrest with a view to acquiring St. Mary’s Protestant Church in the Square. Canon Forrest readily agreed and no objections were raised.

Now the ‘real’ work got underway. As the church was in very bad repair and badly vandalised, major repairs were started under the direction of Sean Lawless. This work was done on a voluntary basis assisted by members of the Project Society. The FÁS scheme installed water and sewerage, while the E.S.B. took care of installing the electricity. Work was completed in approximately eighteen months and the church was officially opened as a Scout Den in 1988.

The occasion was marked by an Ecumenical Service conducted by Rev. Canon Forrest and the late Rev. Mons. Mooney.
New leaders were recruited all of whom contributed greatly to scouting in their time.

Today’s leaders are no less dedicated to the movement and there is a Beaver Colony, Cub Pack, Scout Troop and Venturers. However, leaders are needed urgently, urgently if we are to keep our unit going and keep scouting alive in Athenry.

Christy Caulfield, for the Athenry Journal June 1995

    

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