The 1998 Action Plan for Athenry – Dec 1997

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The cover page of this plan says that it is “A local Action Plan drawn up by the people and for the people of the Athenry Area.” This is a confident statement, but then, there are very good reasons why it should be.

Nearly 500 people, drawn from all walks of life in the Athenry Area are behind this plan.  They form the members of our locap development company, Enterprising Athenry ADC Ltd, which is committed to improving the vitality and quality of life in the area.

In becoming members of this company and paying an annual membership subscription, all of these people are committing themselves to generate local funds to initiate action and enable me to have the position of facilitating and steering all of the projects in the Action Plan.  This is a serious commitment to organized local action by the people of the Athenry Area and I’m very pleased to be part of it.For many of the members their commitment extends even further than just becoming members. 1 am very pleased that so many members have indicated they will voluntarily make available their expertise and some of their spare time to help me in planning and guiding the implementation of projects in this Action Plan. Their participation and involvement with me will be crucial to achieving success.

Assisting me also in the implementation of this plan will be Anne Butler, Enterprise Project Officer, Tony Coffey and the team of staff involved in the FAS Community Employment Scheme.

I am confident that this group of people (members involved in Project Teams and the back – up professional staff) form a formidable team of organised local action. Together we will link with Business Organisations, State Agencies and local people/ organisations to facilitate progress and achieve results for the Athenry Area.

To ensure that there is an organised team approach I will have a meeting, once a month, with all of the members involved in Project Teams.  This will be a useful form to share information and build team spirit.

Focus of the Plan: So, what does the plan cater for?  It is targeted at achieving improvements in the following areas.

Business Development.

We will pursue:

The establishment of new large/ medium size service or manufacturing outlets in the area.
Establishing small enterprises.
Facilitating a “Shop Local” strategy.

Tourism Initiatives

Anne Butler working principally in this area will aim at

Organising the provision of tourism products 1 services for sale in 1998 and develop a strategy for improvements in this area for 1999 and subsequent years.
Ensuring that our Language School in 1998 is a success and make arrangements to expand this in 1999.

The Farming Area

I am currently consulting with some of our farmer members.  I want to get their suggestions on what are the most appropriate and achievable things to follow. I will be seeking the advice of Teagasc and the farm organisations on this as well.

Some research has been done on organic farming and the possibility of establishing small scale farmhouse food enterprises.  We hope to have training courses on this in 1998.

Heritage and Amenity Improvements 

In 1998 we will be building on what we have started in 1997.  We intend to for example:-

Submit plans to Galway County Council on enhancing and conserving Athenry’s medieval character.
Initiate improvements to part of the Town Walls and also around the Dominican Abbey.
Make progress on having ESB cables put underground.
Initiate the restoration of the market cross.
Contract a Landscape Architect to suggest further amenity improvements.
Through the FAS Community Employment Scheme, to undertake various improvements.

Community Resource and Information Centre

An increasing number of people in Athenry are expressing concern about the lack of Community Resource facilities. In view of the growing population this will  become more acute in the next 2 or 3 years.  There is an immediate need for a Centre which will accommodate:

A facility for childrens homework group.
Creche facilities and drop in centre.
The provision of a range of information and educational services.
Youth services.

In consultation with Athenry Community Council and others, I will give every assistance in the preparation of plans to fulfil these needs.

Kieran Hickland, Manager for Athenry Area Development Co. LTD and republished in the Athenry Journal Christmas 1997

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About this record

Written by Kieran Hickland

Published here 17 Feb 2023 and originally published December 1997

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