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From the Steering Committee August 1995
As outlined in our ﬁrst report the Steering Committee is working on the preparation of a parish development plan. In this report I want to outline the approach being taken and what this involves.
The aim is to achieve developments and further improvements in the parish in each of the following areas:
Agriculture and Farming;
Business and employment;
Education and Training;
Heritage; Culture and Tourism;
Infrastructure and the Environment;
Pastoral and Social Care;
Sport and Recreation.
The plan involves preparing a written document. This will include a section dealing with each of the outlined areas. Our view is that this plan must, first of all, dovetail in with the developments already ‘in train’ in the parish. Secondly, it should aim to put in place further developments which will benefit the parish. Finally, it is essential that the plan come up with a system and a structure for the parish to make all this happen in a better way than present.
What is Involved
In preparing the plan for each of the seven areas, the Steering Committee is addressing three broad issues:
(A) What is the Current Position?
We have to describe what is taking place at present. For this we need to assemble the facts and figures. This is not an easy task. All of this is necessary in order that we can identify the weaknesses and the problem areas that should be tackled. We also need to identify the resources in the parish to be developed and the strengths to build on.
(B) What is the Goal?
As a follow on to (a) we need to identify the ideal or vision that we, in the parish, would like to achieve. We need to do this so that we can signpost the direction of developments and the goal to aim for. In coming to decisions on this we will take on board all of the views and suggestions already received from individuals and organisations.
(C) What is the Plan of Action?
Deciding what is to place is, in the final analysis, what the plan is all about. But it is also the most difﬁcult part. It really amounts to what the people of the parish are themselves going to initiate in the next year or two. All of this raises a number of other issues.
Firstly, it is the people of the parish that must take the initiative. In doing so, the people should of course make use of all the help that can be obtained from State Agencies and others. But the importance of the parish itself ‘pushing out the boat’ cannot be over emphasised.
Secondly, while we may have high ambitions of what should take place, we are realistically only considering the actions that can be implemented in about the next two years. In fact, deciding on how to get the ‘ball rolling’ in the first six months or so is crucial to all of this.
Thirdly, this leads to consideration of the system or structure that must be put in place in the parish to co-ordinate the developments and initiatives proposed in the plan.
The Steering Committee was established, in the ﬁrst place, to make recommendations on this very issue. However, it soon realised that this could not be addressed until an overall plan was first of all prepared.
Progress being made: working groups have been established for each of the seven areas (e.g. Agriculture, Business, etc.) mentioned above. These working groups are working with all the existing organisations and other interested people of the seven areas mentioned.
Recently it has been decided to establish a special working group to assemble relevant factual information about the parish, to enable us to pinpoint problems and identify resources to be developed. The Steering Committee continues to have the active advice and support of Messrs Donal Kennelly and Louis Gillick from the ESB.
Discussions have taken place with The Department of Social Welfare, PAS, Area Development Management Ltd. and the County Enterprise Board on the supports which each of them can provide. This will guide us on what we can realistically achieve.
While the task of preparing the plan is more difficult than we expected, we believe that we are on course to have a first draft prepared by the end of September/early October next.
Written by Tommie Quinn
Published here 01 Nov 2022 and originally published 1995
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