Community Development

An Icelandic solution to an Irish problem

An Icelandic solution to an Irish problem

During the 1990s, Iceland had some of the highest figures for substance use among young people in Europe. The alarming statistics sparked the development of the groundbreaking Icelandic Model for Primary Prevention of Substance Use, which has since been implemented in 30 other countries, including Ireland.

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Take 6: Circular economy projects and businesses around Ireland

Take 6: Circular economy projects and businesses around Ireland

Circular Week 2023 is currently taking place from October 23-27 to promote the circular economy. More and more businesses and community projects worldwide are embracing the concept of recycling, refurbishing and repurposing items and materials rather than maufacturing new ones. Here are just a few homegrown initiatives around the country

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Circular economy keeps the world going round

Circular economy keeps the world going round

Circular Week 2023 is currently taking place from October 23-27 to help promote sustainable business practices. The circular economy may be a relatively new term to most people, but it is a concept that has been around since the turn of the century.

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49-member network has new team

49-member network has new team

The Irish Local Development Network (ILDN) has a new team of four. The network represents the country’s 49 Local Development Companies as they work to create real and lasting change with marginalised communities.

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220 time-travelling volunteers welcome diaspora visitors

220 time-travelling volunteers welcome diaspora visitors

A Cork man had a woman in tears recently, yet it was a joyful occasion, one of many facilitated by local volunteers who welcome people of Irish ancestry through Ireland Reaching Out. The community-based, not-for-profit organisation provides three services, all without charge, and, this year, they aim to double the number of people availing of their meet and greet service.

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White House baffled by scale of voluntary input to welcome ‘Mayo Joe’

White House baffled by scale of voluntary input to welcome ‘Mayo Joe’

A fortnight on from US president Joe Biden’s visit to Ballina and on the eve of Mayo Day 2023, it’s worth acknowledging the voluntary effort that makes such events possible.

It certainly impressed The White House which was taken aback by the “calibre and number” of volunteers who stepped forward to welcome home Ballina’s famous son.

“They couldn’t understand how we could mobilise over 200 people within a couple of days,” said Sheila Garvin, volunteer co-ordinator for Ballina 2023.

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Comrade Dermot Hayes to publish his memoirs

Comrade Dermot Hayes to publish his memoirs

Nationally known disability activist and community campaigner Comrade Dermot Hayes is about to publish his memoirs under the title ‘The Road That Rises – a memoir by Dermot Hayes, a boy from Kells’.

Like many activists and volunteers, Dermot is a force of nature.

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Minister stresses State and sector both want empowered communities

Minister stresses State and sector both want empowered communities

Officially launching the values and principles document, Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Joe O’Brien, said: “The publication of these values and principles copper-fastens the renewed relationship and partnership between government and the community and voluntary sector, which has been central in addressing the crises of recent times.”

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Moate volunteers transform cow park into major visitor attraction

Moate volunteers transform cow park into major visitor attraction

Dún na Sí Amenity and Heritage Park is a true community endeavour – what was once a cow park has become one of Westmeath’s and the Midlands’ most popular visitor attractions.
An hour from Galway and 75 minutes from Dublin, it rates highly on Tripadvisor. Remarkably, the park which opened in 2015 is run by a dedicated community group and over 100 volunteers play their part annually – alongside staff – to keep the park running smoothly. KATHY MASTERSON spoke to three people deeply involved in the project.

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New centre tapping into spirit of volunteering in Offaly

New centre tapping into spirit of volunteering in Offaly

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.”

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Local celeb couple applauded for volunteering since 1975: Back then driving 13 kids in a car was okay if you’d won a cup

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.

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Take a deep dive into a #SicapStory – From Malawi to Wexford

Take a deep dive into a #SicapStory – From Malawi to Wexford

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.

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Can you really be at home in a hotel?

Can you really be at home in a hotel?

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.

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Rebel County goes wild to help nature

Rebel County goes wild to help nature

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.

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Steo Wall – We’ve got our sense of community back!

Steo Wall – We’ve got our sense of community back!

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.

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‘The Peoples Transition’ sings of bottom-up development

‘The Peoples Transition’ sings of bottom-up development

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:

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No sanctuary in West Clare: Why peace-loving  people turn to activism

No sanctuary in West Clare: Why peace-loving people turn to activism

• 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.

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‘When social enterprise thrives, society thrives too’

‘When social enterprise thrives, society thrives too’

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.

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What is the role of LCDCs in your community?

What is the role of LCDCs in your community?

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.

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View from Abroad: Community development in lion country

View from Abroad: Community development in lion country

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?

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