Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Island projects seek some independence

English-speaking islands are moving closer to an agreement on a management structure for crucial projects funded through the Local and Community Development Programme. 
Negotiations are continuing with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government on how best to manage the staff and work of five Community Development Projects.
Photo by 'Changing Ireland': the ferry to Inishbofin.
The five projects concerned are on Clare Island and Inishturk in Co. Mayo, Inishbofin in Co. Galway and Bere and Sherkin islands in Co. Cork which also provide support to the smaller Dursey, Whiddy, Long and Heir islands.
“We wanted to stay independent if we could, but that wasn’t a runner,” said Bere Island CDP co-ordinator John Walsh.

The proposal being currently looked at by the Department, said John, would see two companies manage the island projects, one dealing with with Cork, the other with Mayo and Galway.
The chairperson of the Federation of Irish Islands, Padraic O’Malley, stressed in June that islands needed an unique and innovative inter-departmental and local authority approach to the rationalisation and integration of CDPs, farm schemes, fire-fighting, primary school education and healthcare.

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