Featured Articles

EU PILOT PROJECT IS THE CATALYST FOR CROSSBORDER MENTORING

Companies or individuals involved in the food, drink and life science sectors in Tipperary and Carlow have a unique opportunity to grow their business through a new EU-funded mentoring programme. Targeting SMEs, the pilot is being supported by councils in both counties.

SOUTHERN REGIONAL UPDATES ON SPATIAL AND ECONOMIC STRATEGIES

The Southern Regional Assembly is preparing to publish the draft Regional Spatial and Economic Strategy, after engaging in a huge volume of work since October 2017, which will shortly go to public consultation. David Kelly, SRA’s Acting Director, discusses the importance of strategies forregional development and growth with Olivia Kelleher.

DIRECTLY ELECTED MAYORS NEEDS POLITICAL BRAVERY

There have been many attempts made over the last two decades to introduce a system of directly elected mayors in Ireland, but the lack of political will has meant that nothing has happened, according to Dr Aodh Quinlivan, Department of Government and Politics, UCC.

MIDLANDS MOVES TO GET BIG SLICE OF TOURISM PIE

Once almost dismissed as the hole at the centre of Ireland’s glorious coastal doughnut, the Midlands is making moves to claim a slice of the tourism pie, on foot of recent news that Fáilte Ireland plans to rebrand the region as Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, writes Lorraine Courtney.

DIVERSITY SHOULD BECOME IRELAND’S STRENGTH

Ireland has become a diverse country with approximately one in eight of us now coming from a migrant background. Despite this opportunity, an appraisal of our elected representatives shows that the dynamism and diversity of Ireland’s population is not adequately reflected in local or national politics, reports Lorraine Courtney.

EUROPEAN GREEN CAPITALS AND GREEN LEAF AWARDS

The search is now on for the 2021 European Green Capital and the 2020 European Green Leaf Award winners, following the launch by the European Commission of the competition, which remains open until 18 October.

FINGAL’S CREATIVE FIVEYEAR CULTURE STRATEGY

An innovative five-year Culture and Creativity Strategy has been developed by Fingal County Council’s Culture Team and the local Creative Ireland Programme co-ordinator, in consultation with local artists, creatives, cultural and heritage organisations, community groups, the creative industries, centres of education and schools.

NEW STATE AGENCY TO FLY THE FLAG FOR REGENERATION

Up to 30 zones in Dublin city centre and 10 in Cork city will be designated as special regeneration areas within State lands, which are due to be released for housing under the new Land Development Agency, recently established by Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy.

PROBLEMS IN PROVISION OF SOCIAL HOUSING

It has the highest political profile in years, there’s more money than ever in the history of the State available for the provision of social housing and yet there is the greatest level of dissatisfaction and lowest level of provision over the last decade! John Hannigan, CEO of the Circle Voluntary Housing Association, asks why.

CLÚID ACCOMMODATES 67 FAMILIES IN ASHBOURNE

With little or no social housing having been built in Ashbourne for over 15 years, Clúid Housing’s latest development in the County Meath town has provided brand new homes for 67 families, who had been on the social housing waiting list for over seven years.

MAJOR FOCUS ON DELIVERING 750 HOMES BY 2020

Focus Ireland’s CEO Pat Dennigan explains how the charity is challenging homelessness and changing lives through its support and prevention services, and direct housing provision, as they work towards delivering 750 homes by 2020.

CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING AT Ó CUALANN

The goal of Ó Cualann’s Cohousing Alliance initiative is to develop and support fully-integrated communities, deliver well-designed, top-quality, energy-efficient, affordable homes and to ensure its co-operative model can be replicated and scaled across the country.

REBUILDING SCHEMES IN THE ROYAL COUNTY

Meath County Council is working with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to deliver over 1,250 social housing units under Rebuilding Ireland, through a combination of Construction/Acquisition, Payment and Availability arrangements with the Approved Housing Bodies and other social leasing schemes.

FOCUS ON FAMILY HUBS IN CORK CITY

Over the past year Cork City Council has solidified its response to the housing and homelessness emergency in the Leeside city. Brian Geaney, the council’s recently-appointed Director of Services for Housing and Community, says it’s not a simple undertaking but a very complex and dynamic set of circumstances that cannot be resolved by single-focus initiatives.

NEW CIVIC HUB OPENS FOR BUSINESS

Within the first month of opening the doors to its new Civic Hub in June, Dun Laoghaire RathdownCounty Council received close to 20,000 queries by phone, email and drop-in customers, while the new fully inclusive Council Chamber was ready in time for the AGM.

MOSTON DELIVERS NEW DLR COUNCIL CHAMBER & CIVIC HUB ON TIME

Moston Construction Ltd, the main contractor involved in the development of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council’s new Chamber and Civic Hub, delivered the project within budget and on time for the official opening in June at the Town Hall in Dun Laoghaire.

PARADYN IS WELL CONNECTED WITH LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Having won €3m in new IT and communications contracts with Ireland’s local authorities within the past year, Paradyn now provides managed network security, wireless connectivity, infrastructural support and technical solutions to 25 of the country’s 31 local authorities. CEO Cillian McCarthy tells Grace Heneghan they have also established a managed network security solution to protect their clients from the increasing number of cyber-attacks.

A TOWN IN THE MAKING

The Cherrywood Strategic Development Zone, nestled at the foot of the Dublin Mountains in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown between the M50 and N11 transport corridors, is on course to become the major new town in South Dublin, and will accommodate an estimated population of around 20,000 residents.

AGENCY CLOSELY MONITORS HOUSING AND HOMELESS CRISIS

The Government’s failure to respond to the housing crisis has been described as a national emergency by Social Justice Ireland. The justice advocacy organisation’s National Social Monitor Autumn 2018 has revealed that mortgage arrears are again on the rise, up to 87,000 households remain on social housing waiting lists while 10,000 people are left homeless.

LOCAL AUTHORITIES SUPPORT SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

The eight winning projects of the €1.6m Social Enterprise Development Fund, who are set to participate on the six-month Accelerator Programme, will also automatically go forward as finalists for the ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ at the IPB All Ireland Community & Council Awards in association with LAMA, in Croke Park next February.