Here are 21 reasons why Ireland is a better place today for taking care of refugees. And – ON THE OTHER HAND – there are 8 major concerns/challenges. What have we missed, good and bad?
Offaly Volunteer Centre officially opened its doors at Bury Quay, Tullamore, on Friday, March 4th. As chairperson Martin Buckley, founder member of Pullough Community Shop which recently won the ‘Unsung Hero of Offaly’ award, said, “The future of Offaly volunteering is well and truly established and I am proud to be part of something that is outstanding.”
In response to shootings and the activities of crime gangs in Darndale in Dublin and Drogheda in Co. Louth, a new place-based Leadership Development Programme was launched recently. It has high aspirations in areas beset by gang crime.
Local celeb couple applauded for volunteering since 1975: Back then driving 13 kids in a car was okay if you’d won a cup
“I had thirteen children hanging out of my car one time and the guards stopped us. ‘Where are ye going?’ one of them roared. Luckily, one of our team managers was a guard – he said ‘Do no more about it. He’s taking children off the road.’” – recalls Billy Grehan. Above: Billy and Margaret attending a match.
Lantern festivals are popular the world over – from Hong Kong to Banjul to the Rhineland – and now they’ve seen the light in West Limerick! Askeaton’s ‘Féile Laindéir’ brought the River Deel to life in ways never before seen.
“I’ve seen so many examples of resilience in towns and villages the length and breadth of the country in recent months. Many of those were social enterprises.” – Humphreys speaking at today’s 3rd national social enterprise conference.
“My time volunteering is mostly spent in the ICU, cleaning hedgehog homes and doling out regular feedings to birds.” – Grace Barrett reports on her visit to Ireland’s first wildlife hospital, in Meath.
Minister Rabbitte agrees: €3m to go on independent living solutions
Published on behalf of the Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) the new magazine focuses on LEADER projects and work by the 49 not-for-profit Local Development Companies in the State.
A new one million euro funding for social enterprises nationwide was announced on September 6th by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys.
Dr. Mike Ryan of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Joe O’Brien, Minister of State for Rural and Community Development are lined up to take part in this year’s Community Work Ireland conference. It is scheduled to take place (online) on September 28th.
With a small LEADER grant – and some of their own hard-raised funds – a voluntary group brought hedgerow and biodiversity experts from near and far to meet and address locals about nature’s true value.
The Sliabh Beagh hotel in County Monaghan is Ireland’s only community run hotel. It was set up by a group of visionary, committed locals who formed Knockatallon Development Group which spearheaded the entire project.
Why has the community of Garryowen been left without a community centre? It is almost certainly the only community of its size and age in all of Ireland without such a facility.
“I am from the area and I work with over 60 young people from the area. These young people are crying out for a community centre.”
– Youth worker, Jonathan Collins
“The violence and anti-social behaviour that was endemic in Garryowen last summer stands as a bleak testament to the need for substantial investment in community space and community services” – John Buttery, Garryowen Community Development Project co-ordinator.
Humour should be recognised by academia as a tool in non-formal education settings and for engaging youth. It should be part of the curriculum on courses purporting to teach youthwork and related subjects, say the organisers of a comedy festival with a difference, held in June.
Remote working in the extreme: From Germany to Inishturk, Co. Mayo
In Wexford – as featured in our long read here – community workers under SICAP made people welcome during a pandemic. The same good community work is happening across the country, from Inchicore to West Mayo. It is but one of many #SicapStories. It would make for an ideal television series, as amateur film-makers are proving.
Oxfam, Christian Aid, Concern and Trócaire want changes to the definition of “climate justice” in the Government’s Climate Bill. Otherwise the definition should be scrapped, they say. They have written to all TDs and senators explaining why.
The pandemic has shown us more than ever the importance of self-care, writes Nicola Browne. She asks – why are social justice organisations so slow to practice what they preach when it comes to wellbeing?
Is gentrification stealing Dublin city from its people? “We have a great fear as this land is such rich land,” says Rita Fagan of Inchicore. “We see a hollowing out of traditional communities,” says Noel Wardick of Dublin City Community Co-operative. Both talk to journalist Laoise Neylon.
Short term transient forms of accommodation blur the lines between housing and hotels.
Student Accommodation is used for holiday letting in the summer and last year, Dublin City Council granted planning permission for some student developments to switch to short term letting year-round, during Covid 19.
Pat Kennedy urges Government not to allow its plans for the use of pubs as community spaces to get stalled by bureaucracy.
Wild Work, a project now in its fourth year, is a not-for-profit initiative of South East Cork Area Development (SECAD) and it was among 200 projects from across Europe recently showcased online. The project proves that biodiversity is truly for everyone, says Ryan Howard, SECAD’s CEO. Read Beth Ardill’s report and you have to agree.
The following are stand-out, real-life examples of good co-operative work in practice, as highlighted by UCC’s Centre for Co-op Studies (on Twitter). This selection was chosen by LIT Community Development student BETH ARDILL.
Steo Wall graces the cover of this special edition (it’s our 20th year). “My songs are written for all the socio-economically deprived people of the world,” he tells Ben Panter. Steo is proud of his Dublin roots and his Traveller heritage. He believes the pandemic has strengthened our sense of community and he encourages everyone to keep the head up in these strange times.
– with West Limerick Resources
Instagram is a vehicle for real change, writes CHLOE CAREY.
Devotion to the community emerged as one of the strongest features during Moyross’s #BuildOurRoad campaign.
The community of Moyross, Limerick, has launched a campaign to #BuildOurRoad on social media and across all political parties. It calls on the Government to honour a commitment in its programme for government to finish the road – already begun – that would help end the community’s ghettoisation.
What’s it like looking to the future of community development through youthful eyes?
A new report signals that we are on the threshold of a possibly great era for community development, local development and social justice. It explains how we can best tackle inequality from the bottom-up. The report by social justice think-tank Tasc and colleagues in Europe puts people and local communities at the heart of the transition. ‘The Peoples Transition’ points out that if the transition is not fair it will not be made at all. Davie Philip reports:
BOOK REVIEW – McKiernan has written “a compelling memoir”, says Aine Rynne. Published as the pandemic broke, it became a bestseller and could be the perfect gift for the community activist in your family!
EXCERPT: “This Climate Bill substantially improves the 2015 law, but substantial weaknesses remain that must be fixed by TDs and Senators.” – Oisín Coghlan
Pobal’s voluntary board of directors meet nine times a year and you could be taking part in those meetings if you have a community development background, a good internet connection, and get in an application for board membership by this Friday afternoon. Meetings currently take place via Zoom.
“The M50 is something I hear about on the radio,” says Kristian Sheridan. He works for a global business you might never imagine setting up its Irish HQ in a small town in the West. Yet, it did just that.
Last night, on the eve of World Suicide Prevention Day, ‘Changing Ireland’ met volunteers patrolling with Limerick Treaty Suicide Prevention (LTSP).
• A voluntary group set up last year to welcome asylum-seekers to West Clare welcomed the Department of Justice and Equality’s decision in August to close the emergency Direct Provision centre.
• On August 12th – the day the closure was announced – the Miltown Malbay Welcome Group thanked Minister Helen McEntee for her prompt action.
• Civil society voices who welcomed the move included Clare PPN’s Sarah Clancy, author Ruairi McKiernan, and human rights activist John Lannon.
The Covid-19 diaries of two experienced volunteers:
There has been a surge in people volunteering and the Government and the Department of Rural and Community Development has issued guidance and advice to volunteers and community groups.
We’re one week down. Listen to editor Allen Meagher’s take on the changed landscape.
“Many of our communities and disadvantaged groups are still reeling from the impact of disproportionate cuts over the past decade.” – Jim Finn
Last year, 133 people drowned, the majority of them men in tragic circumstances.
When a drowning occurs, bodies are usually recovered thanks in no small part to the many voluntary search, rescue and recovery groups.
Meath River Rescue is one such group and it has twice benefitted from LEADER funding.
The best way to learn the value to Ireland of social enterprises is to hear about it from the horse’s mouth, as heard at the country’s first government-organised national conference about social enterprise.
As the Irish government declares a climate and biodiversity emergency, Patrick Kelleher asks what communities can be going to lessen their impact on the environment.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
I see too many young people from my community dying. We need to change policy, practice and legislation so that it includes and is led by the marginalised.
At the tail end of last week (10-11 October), representatives from across Ireland convened in Carlow for the National Public Participation Network Conference. In celebration, we’re highlighting a story from our latest issue, which shows the great work being done by the Wicklow Public Participation Network.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to get the same opportunities and support in life. When it comes to third-level education, YouthOpia hopes to help close the gap.
As the Irish government unveiled the country’s first national social enterprise policy, positive comments started rolling in from organisations throughout the sector.
Amid ongoing discussions about the Irish direct provision system, one student-run social enterprise is working to ensure that refugees and asylum seekers are able to integrate in their communities.
Sometimes, when tragedy befalls someone, it makes them stronger. It makes them see the value in linking with others in the same boat to take collective action. This is how Larry Masterson responded when he joined others in Co Donegal in setting up the support group ‘Different Strokes for Different Folks’ (DSDF).
The drive to volunteer can come from anywhere. For Larry Masterson, it was something he was already committed to, but his volunteering took him in a new direction after he suffered a stroke.
There are 6,500 people currently receiving support through two schemes set up to help unemployed people to start small businesses. At the ILDN National Enterprise Awards, Ray Lucey caught up with a few of them.
Enactus DCU’s Dyslex.ie project aims to make it easier to read online content. But how does it work?
Following the 2019 ILDN National Enterprise Awards, Ray Lucey spoke to outright winner Margaret O’Connor about Notions, Lady Gaga and entrepreneurship
Every dark cloud has a silver lining and the threat of climate change could see the rebirth of strong forces for community development.
When it comes to supporting asylum seekers, there’s a sense that governments can only do much. That leaves it up to communities and social enterprises to close the gap.
With unemployment levels among those with disabilities far higher than in the general population, could the solution lie in social enterprise?
With levels of education and employment among people with disabilities significantly lower than they are among the rest of the population, one of the Enactus NUI Galway projects hopes social enterprise can make a difference.
As the number of refugees and immigrants in Ireland grows, questions about integration continue to be raised. What if the solution lies with a group of Enactus students?
Last week saw the Irish government release its first ever national social enterprise policy, which will give companies around the country additional supports as they launch and grow. It can only be good news for the next generation of social entrepreneurs, including the team behind Enactus’s BeetBox.
The Irish government has published its long-awaited social enterprise policy, with positive feedback coming in from community development-focused groups.
As the release of the final National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland looms, we take a look at some recent social enterprise activity in the South East.
On the UN’s Sustainable Gastronomy Day (18 June) and one day after the Irish government released its Climate Action Plan, we revisit a story from late last year that examines Ireland’s over-reliance on imported food and the carbon impact of those imports.
At a South Dublin County Partnership open day, one speaker highlighted the impact local volunteers can have.
In advance of Donald Trump’s arrival in Ireland, peaceful protests are being planned in Shannon.
As SICAP 2 sees continued successes, programme providers are starting to showcase their work. At a recent South Dublin County Partnership open day, Minister Ring applauded their enthusiasm.
As Straide Community Development Group prepares to reopen the Mayo village’s hall, they credit a process called Community Futures for making it possible.
Last year (2018), the 11th annual Volunteer Ireland awards honoured a dozen people for their voluntary contributions, but who took home what prizes?
As part of Volunteer Ireland’s annual awards, a dozen people and organisations were honoured for their voluntary contributions – but who went home with the coveted Volunteer of the Year crown?
For most of us, running out of milk is a mild inconvenience. For Martin Buckley – and the eight volunteers he recruited – it was a game changer for Pullough, Co Offaly.
The Community Services Programme was set up to provide local services and create employment opportunities for disadvantaged people. After 13 years, we’re about to find out if it’s working.
In November 2018, community and voluntary sectors representatives descended on Cork to honour their best and brightest at the Pride of Place Awards.
At this summer’s World Community Development Conference in Maynooth, activist Jim Ife spoke about why community development workers have to stop pulling their punches.
At the World Community Development Conference in Maynooth, veteran activist Bernadette McAliskey told those gathered that, if we have nothing to say about wealth, funding and the rise of the right, it’s time to go home.
At this summer’s World Community Development Conference in Maynooth, enthusiastic attendees sang, danced and made their feelings heard.
Following this summer’s World Community Development Conference, editor Allen Meagher reminisces about as past encounter with two of the headline speakers.
Communities are frequently at loggerheads with their local authority. Naturally so. Call it constructive tension. However, to know more about how communities and local authorities work well together – and, increasingly, they do – we focus on the role of the local community development committee.
We’re all aware of the stresses on people and the environment in Africa. The human population is expanding and wild animal numbers are declining. Reporter Cian Kearns heard about an impressive project in Tanzania that aims to protect both people and nature. He was curious to see for himself. Could the livelihood of farmers and their families be secured, while still protecting lions?
Struggling to find fulfilment in your job? Frustrated by lack of progress? Let Horace show you the way.
As the prospect of a post-Brexit hard border continues to loom, Allen Meagher asks whether the threat Brexit poses to communities is being taken seriously.
Community groups and interests can work outside formal structures or within them. In many cases, they are obliged to do the latter. In practice, many do both.
As the awards for Dublin’s Social Enterprise Grant Scheme were given out, who were the lucky (and hard-working) winners?
In the 2016 nationwide Pride of Place competition, which shines a light on the work of communities across the island of Ireland, who came out tops?
EXCERPT: Even when things were difficult during the Ebola outbreak the club did not disintegrate; it hibernated.
As reporting requirements increasingly land community workers in a seemingly endless cycle of funding reports, Enclude CEO Eamon Stack explains that there is another way.
– Excerpts from reports by Dr Brendan O’Keeffe, Niall Crowley, Debra Mountford, Seán O’Riordan:
‘Changing Ireland’ interviewed Minister Pat Carey yesterday on a range of topics, including a key question over changing structures for State support for communities within the framework of the Local and Community Development Programme.
The Community Development Programme, first established in 1990, is to be absorbed into a new unnamed programme that also incorporates the Local Development and Social Inclusion Programme.
As most of Galway celebrated the City's arts festival, an Irish Times news report yesterday highlighted the work of one of Galway city's CDPs - the Galway Traveller Movement - to stand with the community against cultural oppression. While thousands of people planned...
Volunteers, workers and SIPTU mounted a successful campaign to have cuts to Community Employment Schemes reversed. At a time of rising unemployment, the Schemes need to be expanded if anything. €10m was due to be cut. Thankfully, the CE schemes will survive for now....