‘CLÁR funding no longer targeted to most disadvantaged rural communities’ -Feeley

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‘CLÁR funding no longer targeted to most disadvantaged rural communities’ -Feeley

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley, whilst welcoming the allocations made under the CLÁR Scheme, noted the huge disparity in the allocation between counties Cavan and Monaghan and also the fact that the projects chosen, not in accordance with the priority list as forwarded to the Department of Rural Affairs by Cavan County Council were all focused in one part of County Cavan which according to the statistics in the 2016 and indeed previous Census are not the most economically and socially disadvantaged communities in County Cavan.

“When the then Fianna Fáil government introduced the concept of the CLÁR scheme, under the then Minister Eamon Ó Cuiv, TD the purpose and intent of that scheme was to redress the traditional imbalance in investment by various government agencies which obviously focus limited resources on areas with a higher population density and frontload investment in the most disadvantaged rural communities. The designation of these areas was done on the basis of those areas which had the greatest percentage fall in population since the Famine. When you consider the census returns of 2016 you will see, in County Cavan that the areas of greatest economic disadvantage remain those in the west of the county yet only two relatively small allocations were made to this part of the county whilst the bulk of the allocations were focused in one particular area of County Cavan and in part of County Monaghan.”

“I have no doubt that the individual projects funded are worthy and will bring great benefits to the communities involved but it would be fair to say that they do not represent the most disadvantaged communities in our county. Furthermore they do not represent the scheme of priorities as lodged by Cavan County Council at the request of the Department who this year asked the local authorities to vet applications and prioritise them. There is very little point in already hard pressed local authority officials dedicating fast amounts of time to working with local communities to develop applications in areas of acute social and economic disadvantage and assessing these applications on behalf of the Department if their work is to be set aside for whatever reason.”

“Furthermore it was hard to believe that details of the allocations could appear on social media and indeed in the local press almost 24 hours before the local authority, which had presented the applications to the Department were notified of the decision of the Minister.”

“It was reluctantly, and only as a condition of the confidence and supply agreement entered into when this government was formed that Fine Gael agreed to reverse the decision of the previous Fine Gael-led government to abolish the CLÁR programme. It is sad to see that scheme used for purposes for which it was never intended and it is a clear demonstration of the total lack of understanding of rural communities and a complete lack of desire to address the fundamental underlying problems in rural communities that these limited and valuable resources have not been targeted at worthy schemes in the most disadvantaged of communities.”

“I have worked closely with two schemes in particular namely; Corlough Development Association and Milltown National School in Drumlane in recent times and these schemes were rated very highly by Cavan County Council who could see very clearly the merits of the scheme and the effort of the communities involved. Both communities and indeed many others are disappointed with the manner in which the allocations have been made under the CLÁR programme of 2017. The others in West Cavan were disappointed with the level of funding provided when compared with other schemes. One can only hope that a new minister with responsibility for rural affairs will ensure that these funds are allocated in a more appropriate manner in coming years.

ENDS

14th June 2017

Contact: (087) 698 9304

Curravagh National School secures CLÁR funding

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Press release
Curravagh National School secures CLÁR funding

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the allocation of funding under Measure 2 of the CLÁR program which will improve car parking facilities, footpaths and access to Curravagh National School, Glangevlin.
“This school is one of the smallest national schools in the county and has been severely affected by the decline in rural population. Nonetheless, Tara McGovern and her staff provide a top-class learning environment for the children attending. Over eight years ago substantial funding was secured to overhaul the school building and put in place facilities which should see the school in good stead for many years to come. The additional funding of approximately €15,000 will improve safety for staff and children alike along the Glangevlin to Dowra Road. Additional parking, better sightlines and new footpaths will be installed with this welcome allocation under the claw program.’
Councillor Feeley noted that assisting in the provision of infrastructure in communities such as Glangevlin and Curravagh National School such as of our was precisely what was intended by the then Minister for Rural Affairs Eamon Ō Cuiv, TD when he introduced the CLÁR initially. Councillor Feeley continued that unfortunately the focus of the CLÁR program has now been moved very far from its initial intent and communities such as those in Glangevlin and West Cavan are going to suffer the consequence of the decision of this Fine Gael Government.

ENDS

14th June 2017

Contact: (087) 698 9304

Kildallan national school shares in CLÁR Programme

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Press release

Kildallan National School shares in CLÁR Programme

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has welcomed the allocation of funding under the CLÁR Programme towards the provision of a new 40m footpath along the boundary wall, the provision of car and bus parking facilities along a section of the roadway and provide appropriate road markings adjacent to Kildallan National School.
“This rural school has seen significant growth in numbers in recent years and has benefited from a substantial extension officially opened by then Minister, Brendan Smith TD. This new investment though not a significant amount of money will, I hope significantly improve safety for children, parents and staff alike and enhance the school generally.”
‘Bettering the infrastructure in schools such as Kildallan is essential to supporting these communities and ensuring that they have the type of infrastructure appropriate to sustaining these communities into the future and whatever investment is made in these areas is good value for money. Regrettably not nearly enough money has been allocated over the years to communities such as Kildallan and this is a matter which must urgently be addressed in the future by government.’

ENDS

14th June 2017

Contact: (087) 698 9304

€18,000 for Trivia House Swanlinbar under CLÁR Programme

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Press release
€18,000 for Trivia House Swanlinbar under CLÁR Programme

Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul is warmly welcome the allocation of €18,000 to Swanlinbar Development Association to carry out works on the car park at trivia house to include surface drainage, levelling completion of tarmacadam finishing and marking of spaces including that for disabled persons.
“The Development Association in Swanlinbar have, despite the economic challenges persisted over the years in taking on projects to enhance their community. Their ongoing work to develop Trivia House as a focal point for the community is to be commended. This funding will allow them to do much-needed work to make the building more accessible and appealing for visitors and indeed safer also.”
‘In recent times the bridge on the N 87, in the village has been replaced and the footpads and lighting thereon upgraded. In addition, following representations from me Cavan County Council undertook work to replace sections of footpath and carry out repairs to improve pedestrian safety in the village.’
Councillor Feeley also noted the allocation under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme which should further enhance the village and which it is hoped will in particular allow for the further development of Trivia House as an amenity for visitors and locals alike.

ENDS

14th June 2017

Contact: (087) 698 9304