The majority of events in Laharn are organised by Laharn Community Action LTD. The group which is run on a voluntary basis has revived the old tradition of ‘dancing at the crossroads’. Situated in the heart of North Cork, Laharn Cross is the location where people gather each and every Sunday night throughout the summer months to enjoy live traditional Irish music. People, both young and old come to dance the evening away on the specially erected timber platform.
Laharn Cross has a proud tradition of cross roads dancing with evidence of this tradition taking place in this very location as far back as the early 1900’s. At that time, local musicians would play for scores of people who either walked or cycled to gather at Laharn Cross and enjoy the music & dancing and also as some have described it; a little bit of match making! In the 1950’s, the tradition faded out with the introduction of ballroom dances but crossroads dancing was revived again at Laharn Cross by the local community in 1990. Laharn Community Action LTD will this year be celebrating the company’s 14th year in existence this season which will resume on Sunday 29th May 2011. The cross roads dancing continues each and every Sunday night for a full 15 weeks in succession finishing up for the year on the 4th September 2011.
Laharn Community Action LTD also refurbished the old schoolhouse at Laharn in to a new Community, Cultural & Heritage Centre, which opened in October 2006. The schoolhouse at Laharn was built in 1937. Due to the decline in numbers attending, the school closed its doors in June 1996, thus serving Laharn’s 153 year association with education. Laharn Community Action LTD pursued the Department of Education in 2004 & 2005 and a lease was signed by the department for a period of 999 years for the schoolhouse. The group set out to refurbish the derelict schoolhouse into a new Community, Cultural & Heritage Centre.
The refurbishment of the schoolhouse which took over 14 months to complete cost a total of over €110,000. The centre now provides an alternative venue for the cross roads dancing when the weather isn’t favourable along with a centre for music, dance, storytelling, singsong and many more activities throughout the year. The centre also runs a variety of courses such as music, Irish dancing, set dancing, art, the Irish language & Tai Chi lessons in the Autumn & Spring of each year. The centre also transforms into a ‘rambling house’ one night per month where people gather like in years gone by to sing a few songs and share their stories and experiences around the fireside.
The centre has been opened for over four years and thankfully it has been fully utilised and appreciated by the local community to the extent that was originally anticipated. We have also seen how people in the community are getting the opportunity to get involved in the amenities provided where as they wouldn’t be able to before. The centre is seen as a great success and as a source of satisfaction to everyone involved.
Laharn Community Action LTD is a limited company run on a voluntary basis as a non-profit making organisation. The company is of charitable status which its reference no is: CHY14054. Laharn Community Action LTD also has a tax clearance number which if required is: 632797IN