You would have been mistaken for thinking the summer had arrived early in Kesh when The Impartial Reporter arrived in the village last week.

The sun was shining, and residents had their sunglasses on, there were a few light jackets as a gentle breeze drifted through the village.

Impartial Reporter: Kesh

The warmth out and about is matched by the welcome of Kesh according to residents. 

One person who was very complimentary of the welcome of this Fermanagh community was Thayse Casassa.

The busy mum was out with her children, Gabriel and Daniel, on their way to get an ice cream to enjoy on the warm Wednesday.

Impartial Reporter: Thayse Casassa with Gabriel and Daniel.

Originally from Brazil, along with her husband she runs a business in neighbouring Pettigo but lives in Kesh.

She said: “It is a brilliant, warm, and welcoming community.

“I am from abroad, I am from Brazil, I am here just over a year [in Kesh], so not very long.”

Her two sons played with toy cars as they stood at their mother’s knee, passing them between each other, as their mother explained: “We moved to Kesh because we heard it was a very nice and safe place to raise kids.”

There is a warm welcome associated with Kesh, and for one resident, it was a warm welcome home.

One of those to return to her roots in Kesh was Irene Davis who returned from Perth, Australia a few years ago.

Impartial Reporter: Irene Davis

Mrs. Davis explained that when she moved back home, she joined a variety of groups including the Evergreen Senior Citizens' Club.

She said: “It gave me a whole new lease of life, it is an excellent club.

“We meet in the community centre and meet on the third Thursday of every month.

“We have all sorts of activities going on, we have chair-based exercises, a lunch group.”

She noted that the village has changed: “The village is quite extensive when you think about it.

“There are quite a few housing developments.”

She explained that she left Northern Ireland in her twenties having trained as a teacher to travel to Australia and made her home in Perth.

“I was about 40 years in Australia. It was a lovely life. I lived in Perth, the weather was beautiful and I made some very good friends.

“I went on the £10 scheme for two years and stayed for 40 and I met my husband out there and that was it.

“My circumstances changed. I had stayed after my husband passed away, I had no family myself but I had family here and I came back here and I haven’t regretted it.”

Another newcomer to the area is Leanne Channings, who was working in the Courthouse coffee shop when the Impartial Reporter called in.

Impartial Reporter: Leanne Channings, Rachel Crawford and Melissa Keys, The Court House.

She was busy serving customers alongside Rachel Crawford and Melissa Keys.

She said: “I can vouch for the friendliness. I am originally from South Africa and coming to a whole new area and meeting all new people, this, by far has been the friendliest most welcoming area.

“I am here about a year. I have been around in Irvinestown and in Lack but Kesh is by far the friendliest.”

She thinks the friendliness might be down to the tourist draw of the area: “I have noticed a lot of touristy people. I think because so many people are coming in, the community has to be friendly and welcoming."

Rachel Crawford who grew up in the village noted that “Kesh people stick together”.

She said: “Kesh people kind of stick together, you go to the same school, same high school, everything is just Kesh.”

The Courthouse is a hub and the girls say they do get to know their customers, often starting to make their order when they notice their car pulling up outside.

Rachel added: “We have usuals who come in every day, and you just know them and you start making their food before they even come in.”

Melissa Keys praised the close-knit area of the village as she said: “It is quite a nice village. I’m from Kesh, it is small and quite a close-knit community.”

The women all aged in their twenties would like to see some more activities for young people and young professionals in the village however: “Kesh needs more youth stuff, we have the youth centre but it is only for like really young people, but after 14 you are kind of done with it.

“They need something for people in their late teens”, they said and Leanne added: “My step-daughter is 18 and she is desperate for something to do. She is very active and there is no place for people to get together and hang out.”

 Meanwhile on the main street, out for a walk with her twins was Alison McQuade. When asked what was good about Kesh she said: “The amenities are quite good, the primary school is fantastic and I think they just won an award there too.”

Impartial Reporter: Alison McQuade

One element of the community is NFC Kesh which brings a vibrant sporting element to the community: “My husband is from Coa so he came down and went into the football club and that was a big thing for him and that is how he has settled in.”

She says that some amenities need to be updated with a real need for a zebra crossing as the heavy traffic means it can be difficult to cross the road at certain parts of the village and at certain times.

Mrs. McQuade noted how convenient Kesh is to other towns: “It’s quite central, close to Enniskillen, close to Omagh, not far from Belleek.”

The friendly welcome of Kesh has also been observed in nearby Pettigo with Alida Byrne saying that most of her customers in Pettigo Fuel Services come from Kesh.

Impartial Reporter: Alida Byrne

She said: “We have cross Border sales for petrol, people come here to change sterling into Euro, and most of our customers would be from the Kesh or Irvinestown direction.

“People are still travelling to get fuel [in the Republic]."

She added: “Kesh people are nice, they are very good to deal with, all very nice to speak to, and they rarely complain.”

She emphasised the connection between the two areas saying that a lot of people from Pettigo would travel to Kesh to do their shopping.

“We would be in Kesh for a bit of shopping, only for up in Kesh we would be lost for shops or else we would have to travel to Donegal town.

“There are more takeaways and stuff in Kesh so people go up to that.”

She was also complimentary of the natural beauty of the area and said: “There are nice walks in Kesh like Muckross.”

Ultimately, like everyone who spoke to this newspaper, she summed up that the best thing about the area was “the community”.