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Huge Support for Donegal Local Development Company

Share: Posted on May 14 2014

Over six hundred people turned out in force to show their support for Donegal Local Development Company Ltd. (DLDC) and community–led development at a Public Meeting in the Finn Valley Centre, Stranorlar on Tuesday, 13th May. 


John Keon, independent Chair for the Public Meeting (former Donegal Creameries CEO), explained that the event was organised in recognition of some insecurity for the future of DLDC and its staff.


As part of the Government reforms in 2014, a new structure, is being established ‘Local Community Development Committee’s (LCDC’s) under the auspices and control of the administrators of the Local Authorities in Ireland. The proposed local government reforms will firstly see the two core programmes, namely The Local and Community Development Programme and LEADER which have been delivered for almost twenty years by Local Development Companies, transfer in the main to the LCDC’s.


Frank Kelly from DLDC informed those in attendance that local communities should now consider if the proposed new structure will be the most effective way to deliver programmes based on local issues and local needs. He explained that the aim of the meeting was to inform communities and citizens about how the proposed changes might impact on them and to consider how the services offered by DLDC can continue to be supported and retained. 


Community key speakers on the night who showcased their community projects included; Liam Mailey from Convoy Community and Enterprise, Fiona O’Shea from Killybegs Cruise Ship Information Centre, Ann Sheridan from Jigsaw, Mary McGrenra from Craoibhín - Grass Routes and Patsy McGonigle from Finn Valley Centre.


Chair John Keon highlighted the proposed changes and his grave concerns that the existing link between the community and Local Development Companies like DLDC could be severed forever, with the loss of skills and expertise built up over many years. This scenario would have a significant negative impact on your local community.


Liam Mailey, representative from Convoy Community expressed his gratification to DLDC in relation to supports that Convoy has received from DLDC to date, including dedicated Tús and RSS scheme participants and funding received from RDP Leader.  He also stated that ‘without the support from DLDC, Convoy would not be looking as good as it is now, long live DLDC!’


Killybegs Cruise Ship Information Centre also expressed their support, representative Fiona O’Shea gave an overview of supports received. 


Mary McGrenra, from Craoibhín thanked DLDC for the support they received to help set up their Grass Routes Project. 

Patsy McGonigle from Finn Valley Centre, thanked DLDC and stated that ‘DLDC are all about community and have given the Finn Valley area great support and a fantastic community centre’. 


A number of local Councillors also publically pledged their support to the company.


The Chairperson gave the audience the opportunity to voice their views. Concerns were echoed throughout the room regarding the loss of DLDCs supports and services which are presently being provided by dedicated and experienced staff. 

Fionula Brennan from Donegal Womans Network expressed her concerns about reform and empathised with DLDC as they too are extremely concerned for their services and supports which are delivered throughout Donegal. 

Winston Patterson, former Chairman of International Fund for Ireland and Chairman of the Donaghmore Hall Committee highlighted ‘If it isn’t broke don’t fix it.’ Many others followed with the same sentiment including Siobhan Mc Laughlin who spoke of her experience in her role as secretary of DLDC. John Quinn and Molly Reynolds, both former Chairman and Secretary respectively also echoed similar sentiments.

Over the last three decades, Donegal Local Development Company Ltd and local voluntary community groups in Donegal have worked successfully together to combat disadvantage through the delivery of a variety of programmes.

Through this partnership, DLDC has provided direct assistance that has;

• Enabled communities to develop facilities and local development programmes
• Helped and provided employment to the long-term unemployed
• Combated social exclusion and poverty
• Assisted businesses and people in creating jobs and enterprise in their local community
• Provided training and educational programmes to up-skill individuals and community groups

Under the existing structure numerous local development programmes have been delivered throughout the county. In almost every village and town throughout Donegal, communities continue to avail of one or more of the following programmes in partnership with Donegal Local Development Company: Rural Social Scheme, Tús, Local and Community Development Programme inclusive of Back to Work Enterprise Scheme, Donegal Volunteer Centre, Leader/RDP, The Rural Recreational Walks Programme, CE Childcare Programme, Job Club and Jobs Initiative.


DLDC Chairman, Jim Slevin closed the event thanking everyone for turning out in such big numbers and reminded everyone of DLDCs Mission Statement ‘Working in Donegal towards a better future for all.’ He encouraged everyone to show their support for their Local Development Company by signing the online petition:

This online petition is aimed at ensuring that the decades of experience Local Development Companies have is not lost and that they can continue to deliver services to their communities.  ‘Please pledge your support to DLDC and other LDCs to ensure local communities continue to receive the supports they need and deserve.’

ILDN withdraw from Alignment Working Group

Share: Posted on April 25 2014

Following much deliberation, the ILDN Council have decided to withdraw from the Alignment Working Group.


This was a very difficult decision to make, however despite our very best efforts to reach an agreement, we felt we were left with no choice but to withdraw.


More details to follow.

Clare Local Development Co. Public Meeting on Alignment, Monday, April 28th @ 6pm, West County Hotel

Share: Posted on April 23 2014

The future of Clare Local Development Company (CLDC) is under threat. Minister Phil Hogan’s Alignment proposals will carve up the LEADER programme for delivery by a number of organisations, including the Local Authority.


If LEADER does not remain intact, CLDC will not be viable and will not survive. All of the other programmes that we deliver depend on the core funding that LEADER and the Local Community Development Programme provide. Tús, the Rural Social Scheme, our six Local Training Initiatives and our Community Employment Scheme cannot exist on their own and will also be lost. This year 382 people in the
county are depending on these services for training and work placement.

The Board and staff of Clare Local Development Company, invite you to a public meeting on: Monday April 28th at 6.00pm in the West County Hotel, Ennis.


The purpose of the meeting is to:
 Explain what Alignment is
 Explain what is likely to happen in Co. Clare
 Hear what our politicians have to say
 Hear what you have to say


Key decisions will be made by the Minister and his Department in the coming weeks. A strong show of public support for CLDC and community led development in Clare is needed at this time.

Avondhu Blackwater Partnership to hold public meetings 15th & 16th April on local Gov. reforms

Share: Posted on April 15 2014

Avondhu Blackwater Partnership has serious concerns in connection with proposed local government reforms, which would see local authorities take control of the LEADER Programme and the Local and Community Development Programme. This action will also threaten the future delivery of programmes including the Rural Social Scheme, TUS and Community Connect.


The proposals from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to align local government with local development form part of a programme for Local Government Reform. There are many positive actions within these proposals and Avondhu Blackwater Partnership will continue to support positive reform. However, we have serious reservations that the model being pursued will lead to the loss of valuable skills and expertise built up amongst the Local Development Companies voluntary Board of Directors and our staff. This would certainly impact negatively on service provision and direct supports to local communities.


Over the last 20 years Avondhu Blackwater Partnership has worked tirelessly in partnership with communities to combat disadvantage through the delivery of a range of programmes that assist the long-term unemployed, combat social exclusion and poverty, offer training and education so people can develop their skills and deliver community development infrastructure and economic growth for the region.


Please show your support by attending our Public Meetings which will be held in;


Fermoy: Tuesday, April 15th, 8.00pm, Fermoy Community Youth Centre.      


Mallow: Wednesday, April 16th, 8.00pm, Hibernian Hotel.    

Ballyhoura Development holding showcase rallies in East Limerick & North East Cork 11th & 14th April

Share: Posted on April 09 2014

Ballyhoura Development is holding 2 showcase rallies to highlight the achievements of individuals, groups and businesses supported by Ballyhoura Development and to explain current policy and the potential challenges to the retention of current services offered by Ballyhoura Development.


These showcase rallies will inform communities and citizens on what the changes will mean to them and look at what can be done to support the services delivered by Ballyhoura Development.  Ballyhoura Development is encouraging and urging everyone in the East Limerick and North East Cork area to attend one of these showcase rallies so that they are aware of the current policy proposals and their implications. 

The showcase rallies take place at 7.30pm on:


• Friday 11th April: Nagle Rice Secondary School, Doneraile

• Monday 14th April: Cappamore Community Centre, Cappamore

South Kerry Communities Rally to support retention of LDC, Travel Inn Hotel, Fossa at 8pm tonight

Share: Posted on April 08 2014

Community Groups from throughout South Kerry are once again holding a series of public meetings over the coming weeks in support of the retention in its current format of South Kerry Development Partnership.


The first of these public meeting took last Wednesday with over 150 people attending a meeting in Cahersiveen with similar crowds the following evening in Kenmare.  


Another meeting takes place tonight, Tuesday, April 8th in the Travel Inn Hotel, Fossa at 8pm. 


The final in these series of meetings will take place tomorrow, and due to the large crwods turning out so far, the location has been changed to St. Michaels Church Hall on the Iveragh Road. The meeting will start as planned at 8pm.


The meetings, being organised by the Community Directors on the Board of South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) are aimed at highlighting the widespread opposition that exists in the region to Minister Phil Hogan’s proposals on alignment which would effectively see the implementation of some of the key programmes operated through the partnership, such as LEADER and the LCDP coming under new LCDC committees. The running of these programmes on the ground in the future would then be put out to tender with no guarantee that those who would win the tender would have any local knowledge, contacts or experience. The communities fear that this would result in a greatly reduced level of services with a focus being placed on the profits of the tenderer rather than on the wellbeing of rural communities.


Community Director from the greater Killarney area and chairperson of the SKDP Board Sheila Casey said that the current system that is in place for the delivery of these programmes through the Partnership companies has been shown to deliver strong value for money and strong benefits for the communities involved.


“The delivery of LEADER in Ireland is seen as best practice in Europe and the EU is actively seeking to integrate the delivery of their programmes on the ground” she pointed out. 


Instead of this, the current proposals would see the fragmentation of the delivery of these programmes affecting the most isolated and vulnerable communities along the west coast and flies in the face of the wishes of Europe” Sheila added. The communities in South Kerry and indeed throughout the country have benefited greatly from the work of the partnerships and they will fight to retain them Sheila said


These meetings are a follow on from a large public meeting held in Killorglin last year at which more than 300 people voiced their anger and opposition to these proposals to most of Kerry’s politicians.


A national on line petition to protest at these proposals has also been set up at : to highlight the level of opposition to these proposals amongst the communities.

Minister Hogan speaking the weekend before last said that Ireland was now a nation of broadband and mobile phones and not the horse and cart therefore there was no need to have multiple offices in each county.


“That might be so in Dublin 4 but it is not the case in Rural Ireland and local communities will fight to retain their vital services that enable them survive in the face of such ill though out and irrational proposals currently being put forward by the Minister” Sheila concluded.

South and East Cork Area Development ‘Showcase’ Monday, 7th April @ 12 noon in Rochestown Park Hotel

Share: Posted on April 04 2014

South and East Cork Area Development Ltd. (SECAD) are hosting a ‘Showcase’ on the 7th April 2014 at 12 noon in the Rochestown Park Hotel.

The 'Showcase' will include a major exhibition of SECAD Supported Enterprises, Employment Initiatives, Amenities and Facilities, Community Placements, Networks and Men/Women & Youth Focused Programmes and Projects.

This ‘showcase’ will be centred around the people of South and East Cork; who will be encoured to share their experiences of working with SECAD and any impact on their personal lives, businesses or communities that they have experienced as a result of our interactions or interventions.


Minister Simon Coveney, TD will launch SECAD’s Impact Report 2010-2013.

Many will know ‘some’ of what a Local Development Company like SECAD is delivering, managing or hosting.  The aim on the day is to inform attendees about ‘all’ of the work that SECAD supports and delivers.

SECAD will also be actively seeking people’s views about the focus for the future.  What is your hope and vision for the area in the coming years?  What will be the major challenges and opportunities in achieving this vision? What role (strategies) you believe SECAD could have in overcoming these challenges and realising these opportunities? How would you contribute in supporting SECAD to deliver these strategies in the coming years?
All are welcome to listen, learn and share with people from every part of SECAD’s area and to help them in beginning the process of building a vision for the future. 

Show your support for your Local Development Company - Sign our petition

Share: Posted on April 02 2014

Please show your support for your Local Development Company (LDC) and sign our petition today.

We want to ensure that the decades of experience LDCs have is not lost and that they can continue to deliver services to their communities. LDCs assist the long-term unemployed, they offer training and education to those looking to improve their skills, they tackle poverty and social exclusion, and they do all this all in conjunction with their local communities through their community-led, bottom-up approach to local development.

Local government reforms however, could see all this good work lost forever, so please pledge your support to your Local Development Company to ensure local communities continue to receive the supports they need and deserve,

Sign our petition here.

South West Mayo Development Company wins National Rural Award

Share: Posted on March 31 2014

South West Mayo Development Company (SWMDC) is delighted to announce that it has won the National Rural Award 2014 for its work in sustaining rural communities in south and west Mayo. The National Rural Awards are in their ninth year and are organised by Irish Rural Link, the national group campaigning for sustainable rural communities. These awards recognise the hard work and dedication of community groups in improving and developing rural communities around the country. 

“SWMDC is honoured to have been recognised by an independent panel as a group who has enhanced the quality of rural life in the communities that we serve”, said Gerry O’Neill, CEO of SWMDC. He went on to add; “Independent community-based voluntary organisations have been recognised nationally and internationally as having a deep impact on rural society. We have been working in rural development for the past twenty years and are delighted to be acknowledged as a shining example of grassroots development.” 

Chair of SWMDC, Michael Biggins also welcomed the news that SWMDC has won a National Rural award. He went on to point out that the future of SWMDC continues to hang in the balance due to Minister Phil Hogan’s plan to move the work of local development companies (such as SWMDC) under the control of local authorities. A year on from when a thousand people came out in force to show their support for SWMDC at two public meetings “the threat to SWMDC remains, with a real risk that the expertise that the staff and voluntary board have built up over the past twenty years will be lost to local communities”. 

He urged all to contact their local politicians to ensure that future contracts for local development programmes remain with the groups that have a proven track record.  “After all”, he added, “in a time when every cent counts, it makes sense to stick with the tried and tested model.  There is no one more qualified or experienced than SWMDC to deliver community development programmes in Mayo”

Imní ar Chuideachtaí na Gaillimhe faoi Athchóiriú Rialtais Áitiúil

Share: Posted on March 27 2014

Tá imní léirithe ag ionadaithe ó cheithre Chuideacht Forbartha áitiúla i nGaillimh, Comhar na nOileán, Forum Connemara, Galway Rural Development agus Galway City Partnership faoi athchóiriú rialtais áitiúil. Tá imní ar leith ar dhaoine go mbeidh droch-thionchar ar sheirbhísí ar an talamh má aistrítear an dá chlár is mó a chuireann siad ar fáil, is iad sin an Clár Forbartha Pobail Áitiúil agus an Clár Forbartha Tuaithe (LEADER) go Comhairlí Chontae agus Chathair na Gaillimhe. Tá 84 fostaithe ag na cuideachtaí seo le réimse leathan seirbhísí pobail a sholáthair, agus tá 645 eile fostaithe acu ar scéimeanna Tús, ar an Scéim Sóisialta Tuaithe agus ar scéimeanna eile nach iad, agus tá éiginnteacht anois ann maidir lena dtodhchaí.


Dúirt Cathaoirleach Galway City Partnership, Margaret O Riada: “ Má aistrítear an Clár Forbartha Pobail Áitiúil chuig coiste de chuid na Comhairle Cathrach, ní bheidh glór neamhspleách na hearnála pobail le cloisteáil agus beidh sé i bhfad níos deacra orainn freastal ar riachtanais ár bpobal féin. Má chuirtear conarthaí amach chun tairisceana, tá an chontúirt ann go dtabharfaidh an stát tús áite do bhrabús comhlachtaí príobháideacha, seachas do riachtanais an phobail”


Dúirt Tom Madden, Cathaoirleach Galway Rural Development: “Tá breis agus fiche bliain caite ag baill Bhoird na gcuideachtaí seo ag obair go deonach le cinntiú go bhfaigheadh ár mbailte agus ár sráidbhailte riar cothrom de chistí, go mbeadh na cistí sin infheistithe sa chaoi is go mbeadh leas ag ár bpobal astu, bíodh sé sin trí fhostaíocht nó trí sheirbhísí a chuirtear ar fáil. Má aistrítear na cláir seo chuig an gComhairle Chontae, ní bhainfear leas as an taithí fhairsing atá againn, as an eolas cuimsitheach, as an tuiscint áitiúil atá againn agus an paisean atá againn dár bpobail féin”


Dúirt Terry Keenan, Cathaoirleach FORUM Connemara:“Má dhéantar seo, cuirfear 84 post sa chontae i mbaol, postanna daoine a bhfuil saineolas bailithe acu thar na mblianta, daoine a bhfuil cairdeas cruthaithe acu le cliaint agus le pobail éagsúla thar timpeall an chontae. Thar na blianta, tá tacaíocht tugtha againn do na céadta gnólacht bheaga, d’fheirmeoirí agus do ghrúpaí pobail faoin gclár Leader. Má chaileann muid an dá chlár seo, tá an chontúirt ann nach mbeidh muid in ann coinneáil orainn agus go gcuirfí postanna na 645 duine atá fostaithe again ar scéimeanna i mbaol freisin.”


D’iarr Majella Ní Chríocháin, Príomhoifigeach Feidhmiúcháin Chomhar na nOileán orthu siúd uile a mbaineann úsáid as na seirbhísí a chuireann na cuideachtaí ar fáil sa chontae tacú leo agus iad ag iarraidh go bhfágfar na cláir seo faoi chúram na gcuideachtaí forbartha áitiúla.


“Beidh tionchar aige seo ar na mílte duine sa chontae, orthu siúd uile a bhaineann úsáid as na seirbhísí a chuireann muid ar fáil, iadsan a fhaigheann deontais, nó comhairle, nó tacaíocht eile uainn. Is Cuma má tá tú i do chónaí in Inis Mór nó i nGort Inse Guaire, i gCamus, sa Chlochán nó i Seantalamh, beidh tionchar aige seo ar phostanna agus ar sheirbhísí i do cheantar. Tá muid ag iarraidh go dtacfaidh daoine linn agus go bhfágfar cinntí agus seirbhísí áitiúla faoi chúram na gcuideachtaí forbartha áitiúla, ar as an bpobal iad na foirne agus na baill Bhoird, a oibríonn ar son an phobail agus ar a son amháin.”


Deir na cuideachtaí nach sabháilfear aon airgead má aistrítear na cláir seo, toisc go bhfuil costais foirne sna cuideachtaí forbartha áitiúla níos isle ná costais foirne incomparáideach sna comhairlí contae agus cathrach.


Tá billeog eolais faoi na ceisteanna seo réitithe ag an nGréasan Um Fhorbairt Aitiúil (Irish Local Development Network (ILDN)) a dhéanann ionadaíocht ar son na gcuideachtaí forbartha áitiúla ar fud na tíre, agus iarrtar ar dhaoine na ceisteanna seo a phlé le hionadaithe agus le hiarrthóirí sna toghcháin atá ag teacht: 

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