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PROGRESS REPORT 2020

2021


IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

COMMUNITIES IN DUHALLOW

2020 - 2021

The Land & People The expanded IRD Duhallow region includes North West Cork and South East Kerry and Mid Cork. It is a largely rural area. Over 85% of the population live in the open countryside or in settlements of less than 200 people. The expanded Duhallow region has five market towns: Macroom (Pop 3738), Kanturk (Pop 2263), Millstreet (Pop 1574), Newmarket (Pop 988) and Rathmore (Pop 778).


Designed and printed by: Kanturk Printers Ltd. Photographs by Sheila Fitzgerald, Tadhg Curtin and Christopher Bourke

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Contents Page . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Chairperson’s Address . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Manager’s Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 IRD Duhallow Board Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 5, 6 IRD Duhallow CLG Company Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8, 9, 10 Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 EIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 After LIFE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Rural Regeneration Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Enterprise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 IRD Duhallow Skillnet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Tourism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Culture & Heritage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Community Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20, 21 LEADER in Duhallow - 30 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22, 23, 24 LEADER Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25, 26 SICAP & Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Equality and Social Inclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28, 29 The Saoi Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Community Food Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Equality for Women & Childcare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32, 33 Disability and Mental Health Community Inclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Ability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35, 36 Youth and Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Employment and Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38, 39 Local Training Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Community Employment Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Rural Social Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42, 43 Tús . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44, 45 Duhallow Furniture Revamp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Kickstart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Afterschools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Duhallow Community Laundry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Duhallow Community Food Services - 25 Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Duhallow Community Food Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Warmer Homes Initiative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52

IRD Duhallow CEO Maura Walsh, Minister for Community Development Joe O’Brien and IRD Duhallow Chairperson, Breeda Moynihan Cronin.


2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Chairperson’s Address Having completed my second year as Chair of IRD Duhallow I am delighted to present this year’s Progress Report, on what can only be termed as an extra ordinary year with the challenges of COVID-19. Once again the solid leadership and steady hand of governance of my fellow directors has enabled IRD Duhallow to not only deliver on its existing programmes and community services but to seek out and introduce new initiatives to address the emerging needs identified across all cohorts of our communities.

Thanks to our hard working Independent Evaluation Committee led by Declan O’Keeffe who diligently evaluate all projects. I want to acknowledge the support of the LCDC staff in Cork and Kerry led by Kay Keegan in Cork with Andrew Lewis, Terence Sheehan, Maire Ní Thuama and in Kerry led by Niamh O’Sullivan, Liz O’Donnell, Anne Marie Fitzgerald and Lisa Fanning and both Local Community Development Committees in the successful implementation of the programme.

Guided by our core values of being Courageous, Innovative, Responsive, Caring, Driven and Trusted, the Company has navigated a course to ensure our four pillars of Development; Social, Cultural, Economic and Environmental, are progressed with equal emphasis so that we have balanced and sustainable development in the region.

I must acknowledge the support we get from Government Departments and Public Bodies and Agencies. The programmes we deliver are funded by the Departments of Rural and Community Development; Employment Affairs and Social Protection; Children and Youth Affairs; Agriculture Food and the Marine; Communications, Climate Action and Environment; Housing and Local Government; Justice and Equality; Education and Skills, as well as the HSE; Cork and Kerry Education and Training Boards; SEAI; Pobal; The Dormant Accounts Funds; Skillnet Ireland; Tusla; LAWPRO and Gas Networks Ireland.

We were unable to hold our annual Strategic Review in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. This is a two-day intensive session, which starts with our Board Meeting and continues for the day with Directors new and experienced, the Chairs of our many Working Groups, Management and Staff including new Staff all having the opportunity to review our Strategies, interrogate our mission and core values and through facilitated sessions, set the course for the company for the next year. It is a significant commitment from our voluntary Directors and Working Group Chairs, but is invaluable to the Company as an effective induction, consolidation of mission and core values, as well as networking and defining purposes and roles.

This time last year we were facing uncertainty as our LEADER Programme drew to a close and with no decision on a new programme. Great credit is due to the Board, Management and Staff for holding firm and continuing their vital work during that time of uncertainty. I wish to thank Heather Humphries, Minister for Social Protection and Minister for Rural and Community Department for announcing the interim LEADER Programme to link directly to the next round of European funded LEADER and putting Local Development Companies back on a sound financial footing as well as providing funding for projects.

For me as Chair, it is essential for cementing relationships, reinforcing the roles of all in the good governance and success of the Company. We are hopeful that we can resume again this year in the autumn within the guidelines laid down by NPHET and the Government.

I was delighted to see the Social Partnership model of development which, was so powerful in the past, be reconvened again this year. We would welcome a return to the emphasis on partnership and away from the more recent preferred competitive tender process, which could lead to more privatised system of delivery that could see the most vulnerable in society not getting the level and scope of service they deserve and so badly need, coming out of the COVID pandemic and the fall-out that is emerging from that experience.

We were honoured to have Minister Norma Foley launch our Progress Report last year, having been just appointed as Minister for Education and a Dail Deputy for Kerry, part of which is in our Region and we look forward to welcoming her back. It was my privilege to welcome Mr Joe O’Brien TD and Minister of State for Community Development and Charities at the Department of Rural and Community Development. I was delighted to show him the positive impact that the Community Services Programme, Tús, Rural Social Scheme and Community Employment Schemes are having on the lives of the participants as well as the range of essential rural services they underpin.

The Programme of Government has committed to independent Local Action Groups supported by LCDC’s to deliver LEADER in the next round and IRD Duhallow would welcome the opportunity to become an independent LAG once again, having over three decades of experience and expertise, we believe that the LAG role sits best on the Local Development Companies that are closer to the ground and can integrate the Programmes to add value and get the best results.

As Chairperson I am satisfied that the appropriate controls exist and are managed effectively, to meet the governance requirements of the Charities Regulator. As a company our Board and Senior Staff sign up to the Ethics in Public Office Standards.

As a Board we are immensely proud of our Management and Staff and how they have embraced and adapted to the new challenges presented this past year. Our achievement of the NSAI Gold Standard in Excellence Through People was wonderful recognition of how we operate.

In thanking my fellow Directors and in particular our outgoing Vice Chair Annette O’Mahony for her support throughout the year and to Michael Twohig who is the Chair of our Finance Committee for his financial oversight; I want to pay tribute to our Directors who have had to overcome a number of obstacles in order to meet at Board and Working Group level on screen rather than in person. Some were forced to drive a distance in order to get phone coverage to enable dial-in, in the absence of broadband and weak phone signal.

I want to thank my fellow Directors for their hard work and valuable contributions during the year and look forward to working in partnership with our communities, social partners and state agencies to effect a positive COVID recovery for all sectors and people in the Duhallow region. In particular, I would like to thank our Former Chair Mary Wallace who continues to chair our Social Economy Working Group. Finally, I would like to thank our highly competent staff ably led by our formidable CEO Maura Walsh who has given 30 years’ service to the Duhallow region.

This year we welcome new Board Members, Geraldine O’Leary, newly elected Community Representative for South Eastern Duhallow and Dominic Cronin who joins the Board representing the Farming Organisations and a member of the ICMSA.

Breeda Moynihan Cronin CHAIRPERSON

During the year we bade a sad farewell to former Director Pat Keane RIP and it was surreal not to be able to attend his funeral to pay our respects.

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Manager’s Report This year has been exceptional bringing challenges unforeseen, unexpected and unplanned for, but also bringing opportunities unforeseen and thanks to the enterprising spirit of our management team these opportunities have been taken and we have new programmes to add value to our existing ones and bring an enhanced service to our communities.

Duhallow Community Laundry remained open to look after all our customers. As the majority live on their own and were isolating, we provided the add on service of collection to delivery and doing shopping and collecting prescriptions. Thanks to Anita Castle who leads the team, under strict protocols, ensuring the safety of her colleagues and customers.

I am proud of our response to the COVID-19 crisis and how well all our staff, including CSP, RSS, Tús and CE participants showed great courage and trust in our leadership and stood up to the challenge by moving to other areas of work when some community facilities closed so that as a company we were able to offer new and expanded services and take on new initiatives and programmes in response to the COVID-19 call in Cork and Kerry, while at the same time delivering on all our existing programme commitments. Our monthly newsletter and Discover Duhallow magazine played a significant role in getting the Covid message across and informing and entertaining our readers. Thanks to Maggie O’ Callaghan and her team and Derval Corbett for their work. We were delighted to receive one of the Community Awards from Kerry County Council for our COVID-19 response. The health and safety of our staff and volunteers is paramount and all remained at work in our offices throughout. Thanks to the vigilance of our Health and Safety Committee of Colm Crowley, Marie Fleming, Colm O'Connor, Tom Twomey, Paddy O'Connor and Caroline O'Rahilly.

In our Life Long Learning work Rachel Budd and Bríghid Ide Walsh did an excellent job adopting the delivery of our QQI Level IV in Horticulture under the COVID-19 lock down restrictions. Our thanks to Cork ETB, Patricia O’Mahony and Catherine Power for their support. Skillnet, our major support to over 1,000 rural businesses, saw growth during the year due to a workforce largely at home and some out of work, there was brisk demand for our on-line courses, Louise Bourke and Geraldine O’Connor did Trojan work and we can confidently say that we have a workforce ready to take on the challenge of rebuilding the rural economy with better improved skills than ever before. Our major awards in Level 8 programme in BA (Hons) Early Childhood Education & Care in conjunction with IT Carlow and the QQI Level 5 programme in Health care graduated in Cap and Gown albeit remotely. Our thanks to Paul Healy CEO Skillnet and his team for their tremendous support. A new opportunity to support family carers was presented through Dormant Accounts funding for a range of training and upskilling which was initiated by Helen O’Sullivan and is being implemented by Stephanie Moynihan.

IRD Duhallow achieved The Excellence Through People Gold Standard from NSAI in recognition of the company’s approach to and support for continuous development of its staff through training as well as keeping staff informed and involved in our Annual Strategic Review and Planning. The initiative is led by Marie Fleming with support from our two students Jordan Corkery and Nicole Ferris.

Our EIP Agri farming for Blue Dot catchments had a very successful year winning the Biodiversity award at the Cork Environmental Forum, well deserved by Michael Morrissey and Michael O’Connor on the EIP team. We were thrilled to be selected for a second EIP for the Owentarriglin Catchment which will bring another 40 farmers into EIP.

The restrictions resulted in most workplaces closing which meant that many of Duhallow’s Third Level students, pursuing courses that required practical work placements found it very difficult. We were able to accommodate eleven students on work placements.

The Social Inclusion Activation Programme in both Cork and Kerry were completed, not only meeting but surpassing many Key Performance Indicators, under the expert leadership of Triona Dennehy and her team. While LEADER had a completion date of December 2020 and all budgets were successfully committed to projects that spanned the entire range of themes and sub themes. Thanks to Eileen Linehan who manages the programme and Helen O’Sullivan who filled the role while Eileen was on leave with Nollaig Murphy providing administration support.

Thanks to our accounts team of Alaina Finn and TJ McAuliffe and I wish Margaret O'Connor and Julie O'Flaherty speedy and full recoveries. In response to an overwhelming need for some of our clients to emerge from the severe COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, we took the decision to open up our Ability programme for in-person training and support, safely for both participants and tutors. Our thanks to Jackie Kelly and Bríghid-Ide Walsh for facilitating this essential service for those who needed it.

To conclude IRD Duhallow is a success because of the excellent stewardship of our voluntary, hardworking Board of Directors that have set the vision, culture and values of the company. Breeda Moynihan Cronin our current Chairperson, has brought a wealth of local and national experience and expertise. Annette O’Mahony has been an excellent and supportive Vice Chairperson always encouraging us, while Michael Twohig has taken on the role of Chairperson of Finance and has shown tremendous solidarity and leadership in being present to us staff on a weekly basis despite COVID-19 and managing his own businesses. Anne Maria Bourke, as the HR Chairperson has likewise been a regular presence over the past year, bringing positivity and encouragement to the team.

Our Afterschools service was also deemed essential to support workers in front line and food chain supply, opened full time to enable parents go out to work as schools were closed. Thanks to Bríghid-Ide, Jodie and Rachel who did a great job, in fact attendance for the remainder of the year has shown steady growth as the service increases in popularity. Tús and RSS Supervisors played a key role showing leadership in COVID-19 times by developing a number of local loop walks and maintaining our network of walks and community facilities, so people could remain within their distance restrictions yet get out and exercise to maintain a healthy mind and body. Nuala Riordan Tús Supervisor has overseen the walks, as well as leading teams in invasive species control as part of our After LIFE commitments. IRD Duhallow implements its RSS and Tús in an integrated, person centric manner so the participants get to experience a range of work experiences. Thank you to Don Murphy and Tom Twomey, Supervisors who oversee and plan the work.

We are heading into a new year with confidence and tenacity. We have the excitement of new programmes and new services to offer which a Social Farming project just announced and a HSE funded Community Health Project about to commence. I am blessed to have the professionalism, experience and expertise of our Assistant CEO Eileen Linehan and fortunate to have an excellent Management team of Triona Dennehy and Helen O’Sullivan. Our staff is second to none and I am both fortunate and proud to work with them. Together we will meet and take on whatever challenges come and will embrace new opportunities for the betterment of the region and people we serve.

Our Furniture Revamp service and Kickstart programme enjoyed increased volumes of work as more people embarked on DIY jobs while at home. This service has done huge work in diverting furniture from land fill or worse and making available affordable furniture to the elderly and low income families.

Maura Walsh CEO

Our thanks to Colm O’Connor, Jessica Barron, Debbie Pearson and George Fitzgibbon for their work in promoting a more sustainable circular economy.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

IRD Duhallow Board Members BREEDA MOYNIHAN CRONIN

ANNETTE O’MAHONY

Breeda re-joined the Board in 2014 to represent Duhallow’s Social Enterprises and is the current Chair. Breeda was a member of Dáil Éireann from 1992 – 2007 and a member of Kerry Co. Council from 19992003 and from 2011 - 2013. Serving her community for over 20 years, her constituency included the East Kerry area of Duhallow. At present, she is chair of ECSSA (Electrical Contractors Safety Standards Association) Ireland and is involved in a number of voluntary and charitable organisations. She was elected Chair of IRD Duhallow in 2019.

Annette was elected to the Board in May 2016 representing the North Eastern Duhallow region and is the current Vice Chair. She is married to David, they have 5 sons, and she works in Newmarket as a Practice Nurse. She has served on the Board of Management of Ballyhass N.S. and has also spent time as Chairperson of its Parents Association and was Treasurer of the Parents Council in the Mercy Secondary School. Annette volunteers with groups such as Castlemagner Community Development Association and is involved in the local An Taisce litter watch. Annette Chairs our Audit & Finance Committee.

ANNE MARIA BOURKE

CORMAC COLLINS

Anne Maria is a former Board Chair from 2015-2018 and she sits on the Finance and Chairs our HR Committee. She represents the INTO on the Board. She is a former National School Principal and works closely with State agencies in an advisory capacity. She is an active member of the Allianz Sciath na Scoil North Cork Primary Schools’ Games and Cork Primary School Sports. She is a keen bridge player and is a member of both the Brogeen and Kanturk Bridge Clubs. She is the present Chairperson of a local Board of Management and is Chairperson of Castlemagner Parish Council.

Cormac is a former Chairman of IRD Duhallow holding the role from 2012 to 2015. He is from Gneeveguilla and works as a Senior Manager in the ESB, where he manages the delivery of major infrastructure projects across the country. He was appointed to the Board to represent the State sector having previously served as Community Representative for Western Duhallow. He is the current chairman of Gneeveguilla Community Council, who developed a cultural centre in Gneeveguilla village, “Teach Failte”. He serves on the HR, Finance and Community Development Working Groups.

SEAN WALLACE

MICHAEL TWOHIG

Seán comes from Donoughmore and is a Senior Software Engineer with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation. He was nominated to the Board of IRD Duhallow in 2019 as the Macra na Feirme representative. In Macra, he has held the positions of Munster Vice President, Director, National Secretary, National Competitions Chair, and also represented the Muskerry region on National Council for 4 years. He is also a member of both the Community Council & Macra na Feirme Club in Donoughmore. He currently serves on the Agriculture Working Group of IRD Duhallow.

Michael is a founder member of IRD Duhallow and served as Chairman from 2011-2013, in the past he also served as Finance Director. He represents Kanturk Chamber of Commerce on the Board. With his wife Noreen he manages the family owned Supervalu Stores in Kanturk, Abbeyfeale and Askeaton. A keen angler and hunter he has developed a number of angling projects in Duhallow. Michael is Chairperson of the Enterprise and Finance Working Groups as well as being an active member of the HR Committee and Life Steering Committee.

JOHN BREEN

PADRAIC O'CONNELL

John represents the Environment Working Group on the Board. He is currently Director of Services with responsibility for Environment & Water Services, Fire and Emergency services, Civil Defence and Library services as well as Municipal District manager for the Castleisland / Corca Dhuibhne Municipal District with Kerry County Council. Previously he served as Director of Services for Housing and Community for 10 years. He has also previously served as Director of Services in Limerick City and as Town Clerk in Tralee and Town Manager of Listowel and Killarney Town Councils. A native of Kilkenny city he presently resides in Castleisland.

Padraic is from Kanturk where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He is a member of the Enterprise Working Group. Padraic has a BBS from UL. He is currently Head of HR at Ervia (formerly Bord Gais) having held senior management roles there in Energy Policy, Commercial, PR, Marketing and Legal for the past 17 years. In 2016, he was appointed Chair of the Gas Infrastructure Europe BrExit Taskforce. Padraic enjoys golfing and is a member of Kanturk and Killarney Golf Clubs (holding Kanturk committee roles for over a decade).

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

IRD Duhallow Board Members PAT BROSNAN

BILLY DENNEHY

Pat was elected to the Board to represent Western Duhallow in July 2020. He has over 20 years' experience as an online marketing consultant specialising in Search Engine Optimisation, E business consultancy and website design. Pat has lived in Gneeveguilla for over 40 years and has been involved in the GAA, Walking and Basketball Clubs. He is an active member Gneeveguilla Development Association where he is in charge of PR. He also updates Rathmore Parish website. Pat is a member of North Cork Business Alliance and is an online advisor to Charleville Chamber of Commerce.

Billy Dennehy was elected to the Board of IRD Duhallow in May 2017 as a community representative for the Western Duhallow region. He is the current chairperson of IRD Duhallow’s Community Development Working Group. He is an active member of the Kiskeam Community and volunteers with many local community groups. He is the current Development Officer of the Kiskeam Development Association and Chairman of Kiskeam GAA Club. He is working as an Area Engineer with Cork County Council. Billy is married to Emily and they have two children.

MARGARET MCSWEENEY

JOHN LYONS

Margaret Mc Sweeney was elected to the Board in 2019. She lives in Macroom with her husband and son. Her background includes work as a qualified Pastry Chef as well as a Carer for those with Intellectual Disabilities and is presently studying Business in line with her current interests. She is a member of a number of committees such as Clondrohid Development Group and Clondrohid Hall Committee. Margaret served as Parent’s representative for 6 years on a secondary school’s Board of Management and was child officer for 5 years in a local GAA club.

John is a retired Coillte Forest Engineer, having been a staff representative for many years, He has been involved in various projects nationally and internationally relating to harvesting technology and the environment and was chair of Forest Industry Transport Group. His current involvements include Secretary and active member of Macroom Tidy Towns, secretary of Macroom Handball/Racquetball club, Chairperson of Safeguarding Committee in Macroom Parish, Chairperson of local community association, member of gun club, hillwalking club and an active member of Aghinagh Comhaltas Group. Married to Frances, they have 4 daughters and nine grandchildren.

BILLY MURPHY

GERALDINE O'LEARY

Billy hails from Lyre and was elected to the Board of IRD Duhallow to represent the South Eastern region in 2018. He is a founding member and current Chairperson of the Lyre Community Culture, Sport and Leisure Association where he has overseen largescale community development projects in Lyre village including the development of their community centre, playground, park and walkway. Billy is also a long standing member of Banteer, Lyre Nadd District Community Council. Billy works in the Water Section of Cork County Council and is an avid community volunteer.

Geraldine was elected to the Board of IRD Duhallow in July 2021 representing South Eastern Duhallow. Living in Millstreet with her family, Geraldine is a volunteer on Millstreet Town Park Committee and they have recently fully refurbished its playground. She holds a BA (Insurance & European Studies) and is QFA accredited by the Life Insurance Association of Ireland. She recently concluded a 20-year tenure with Aon Ireland to focus on family life and other commitments. During her career at Aon she progressed to the role of Senior Retirement Consultant, managing a portfolio of multinational clients and trustee groups.

TOM O'RIORDAN

JACK ROCHE

Tom O’Riordan was elected to the board in July 2019 to represent the communities of North Eastern Duhallow. A native of Kilbrin, he is married to Nora Mary and they have six children. Tom worked for many years in retail where he held a variety of roles and owned his own business for a number of years. In recent times, he retired to part time farming. He has been actively involved in Kilbrin Community for over 40 years. Tom was one of the instigators of the heritage project, which restored Dr. Croke’s birthplace house in Kilbrin.

Jack is from Rockchapel and represents the Saoi Network of which he is the Chairman. A former IRD Duhallow Chairman, he sits on the Social Economy, Finance, Human Resources and Community Development Working Groups. Jack has represented IRD Duhallow on ILDN and ILDN on ELARD the European LEADER Association for Rural Development of which he is past President. Steeped in the cultural development of the region, he developed Bruach na Carraige Cultural Centre in Rockchapel, along with a dedicated Sliabh Luachra Archive and the Sliabh Luachra Cultural Trail.

JAMES O'KEEFFE

DOMINIC CRONIN

James was elected to the Board of IRD Duhallow as the Blue Dot Farmer Representative in July 2020. A fourth-generation dairy farmer from Lismire. He is the Chairman of the Newmarket Charleville ICMSA. James was elected to be an advisory Committee member of Kerry co-op in 2011. In 2018 he was elected to the Board of Directors of Kerry co-op. In 2019 James was appointed to their strategy committee. He is an outdoor enthusiast and is a member of the Irish Mountain Running Association. Married to Aine, they have two children.

Dominic joined the Board in July 2021 representing the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association. He is a dairy farmer from Boherbue and is the current Chairman of Duhallow ICMSA, as well as Vice Chairman of North and East Cork ICMSA and is currently a Board Member of the ICMSA National Council. Dominic has served as a Board member of Boherbue Coop since 2005 and is also a member of the national water forum. He is a former Chairman of the National Dairy Council having held the position from 2002-2011.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

IRD Duhallow Board Members JUDY O'LEARY

SUZANNE CAMPION

Judy first joined the Board of IRD Duhallow in 1997 representing womens’ groups. She Chairs the Women and Childcare Working Group and is a member of the HR Working Group. Judy is a founding member of the Duhallow Women’s Forum. She hails from Dromtariffe and is actively involved in her local community. She is a long standing member of the Irish Country Women’s Association and is the New Members liaison specialist for the Cork Federation and a member of the Kiskeam Guild. She has also served as Vice Chairperson of IRD Duhallow for three years.

Suzanne joined the Board of IRD Duhallow in 2005. She represents Inland Fisheries Ireland where she has held the position of Head of Business Development for IFI the past 18 years. Suzanne has previously worked as a manager and accountant in the public and private sectors. As head of Business Development with IFI, her focus is on developing habitat, angling infrastructure, angling marketing and education and outreach. Suzanne represents IFI in the Irish Tourism Industry Confederation as well as serving on the Boards of a number of other tourism and rural development strategy groups.

DAVID DOYLE

CLLR. MAURA HEALY RAE

David Doyle joined the Board in July 2015, as a nominee of the Chief Executive of Kerry County Council. David holds the position of Senior Engineer in the Operations & Safety section of Kerry County Council. He is currently working on the development of proposals for URDF projects in Killarney and Tralee, and RRDF projects in Caherciveen and Valentia Cable Station. He previously worked in Roads directorate and as Killarney Town Engineer who supported and worked with local development groups and tidy town organisations. David lives in Beaufort, Killarney and is an active member of the local Tidy Towns.

Cllr Maura Healy Rae joined the Board of IRD Duhallow in March of 2016 taking over the position held by her father Danny Healy Rae. She has served as an independent Councillor for the Killarney Municipal District, since 2016. Maura is the fourth of the six Healy-Rae children of Danny and his wife Eileen. Her constituency includes the East Kerry area, so she is very familiar with Duhallow and the projects and work that have been carried out in her region. Maura works as an English and History teacher in St. Brogan’s College, Bandon.

CLLR. FIONNÁN FITZGERALD

CLLR. GOBNAIT MOYNIHAN

Cllr Fionnán Fitzgerald is a secondary teacher and was elected Councillor for the Castleisland Area in the recent local elections of May 2019. He was nominated to the Board of IRD Duhallow to represent Kerry County Council and is the current Cathaoirleach of Castleisland-Corca Dhuibhne. He has been a community activist for many years particularly in the field of social inclusion for our elderly, community alert groups and also the provision of sport for our youth. He hopes to continue to help connect people to their own communities in his area.

Gobnait joined the Board of IRD Duhallow in June 2016. Gobnait was elected as a County Councillor by the people of Millstreet / Macroom Municipal District, and has been representing the people of the area since 2016. Gobnait works closely with her brother Aindrias Moynihan TD to represent the people of the area, both in Council and in Dáil Eireann. The IRD Duhallow region was expanded to incorporate the greater Macroom, Inchigeelagh, Rylane area. Gobnait will continue to build stronger bonds between IRD Duhallow’s existing networks and the local communities in her own constituency.

CLLR. MARTIN COUGHLAN

CLLR. IAN DOYLE

Martin joined the Board of IRD Duhallow in 2019. He is a member of Cork County Council representing the Macroom Municipal District. Martin was previously a Town Councillor in Macroom for 20 years. Martin is a retired FAS supervisor who lives in Macroom and is an active Community worker. He is the current Chairman of the Macroom Tidy Towns group and on the Board of Directors of the Briery Gap and also works with the Enterprise Board organising the Food Festival, the St. Patricks Day parade and the erection of the Macroom town Christmas lights.

Ian Doyle joined the Board in 2019. Hailing from Charleville, he was a founding member of Charleville Agricultural Show. He is a member of the St Vincent de Paul, Holy Cross Conference and was its President for many years. He is Vice Chairman of the Charleville Heritage Society, Chairperson of the Charleville Tidy Towns Committee and he is currently a board member of Ballyhoura Development, Charleville Sheltered Housing and Community Care, Charleville Community Hall, Charleville Chamber, and Newtownshandrum Community Association. He also sits on the Board of Management of St Marys Secondary School and the CBS Primary School Charleville.

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

IRD Duhallow CLG. Company Structure IRD Duhallow is a Community based Rural Development Company established in 1989. It is a Company Limited by Guarantee without share capital. It has charitable status and our directors are voluntary and receive no remuneration for their services. The Board of IRD Duhallow adheres to the Governance Code Principles Statement since 2013 and is listed on the Register of Compliance. The Constitution reflects best practice and is in accordance with the Charities Act, 2011. The Board membership reflects the integration of Social Inclusion and Rural Development, the importance of the environment and community volunteers and the democratically elected Local Authority Members. Reflective of the integrated nature of our work, the Company’s Board and Sub Committee Structures have evolved over the years and enjoy a massive amount of good will and voluntary contribution in the region. Upwards of 3,500 people, participate from the bottom up through these structures. IRD Duhallow has a number of Working Groups with representatives from our Board and staff as well as community and State sector representatives. This structure allows us to target specific expertise beneficial to the implementation of the strategic aims assigned to the particular working group. IRD Duhallow continues to strive for excellence through the ongoing training and development of our staff. We have attained the Excellence Through People Standard, Ireland’s standard for Human Resource Management which is now administered by the National Standards Authority of RSS Supervisor Marie Fleming and CEO Maura Walsh at the Ireland.

WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED SINCE 1989: 1658 1486 197 470 12,908 4169 170

Jobs Created Businesses Supported Community Groups Supported Community Work Placements Supported Training Places Created Homes Insulated Tonnes of Furniture Diverted from Landfill

1658

170

1486 197

4169 12,908

470

Excellence through People Online Evaluation where IRD Duhallow were awarded a Gold Standard.

Social Economy

Women & Childcare

WARMER HOMES REVAMP COMMUNITY LAUNDRY

WOMEN’S FORUM NORTH CORK CHILDCARE NETWORK

Youth & Education

Community Development GEOGRAPHIC

COMMUNITY CARE

CULTURE & HERITAGE

Equality DISABILITY ABILITY MIGRANTS

Community Forum

BEFRIENDING NETWORK

Employment & Training

CARE & REPAIR

BOARD

Enterprise & Tourism SKILLNET DUHALLOW ANGLING CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE

FRIENDLY PHONE CALL SERVICE

2021

ENTERPRISE

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT

Social Partners

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT

Agriculture BEE KEEPERS EIP BLUE DOT

Environment LIFE STEERING GROUP DUHALLOW BIRD WATCH COMMUNITY BIODIVERSITY Operational Sub-Committees

Statutory Agencies

Local Authorities Independent Evaluation Committee Strategic Working Groups

Finance

Strategic Working Group Sub-Committees

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FAMILY CARERS

Human Resources Independent Evaluation Committee


2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Details of Staff EILEEN LINEHAN B.A. (Econ & Geog), MBS (Business Economics), Dip. Personnel Mng. Dip in Public Procurement EU funded projects Eileen is the Assistant Manager and has responsibility for the Enterprise team, which includes Skillnet, Community Employment & LEADER Programmes as well as the EIP Programmes. She supports the Manager in the day-to-day running of the company including Human Resources & the financial operations of a number of programmes. Eileen monitors LEADER through its IT system and she represents Local Development Companies on Cork County Childcare Committee, which she currently chairs. Eileen is a Trustee of the Pobal Pension Scheme.

HELEN O’SULLIVAN B.Soc.Sc., M.Soc.Sc, Dip Com, Leadership & Mgt, Cert in Agri. Helen is the Community Services Team Leader with 16 years’ experience in the sector. She has responsibility for our social enterprises including the Warmer Homes Scheme, Newmarket Afterschools and Discover Duhallow Community Magazine. Helen oversees the management of the Community Services Programme. Helen also works on the Duhallow Skillnet Programme as well as working closely with communities in South and North Eastern Duhallow to access supports and funding through LEADER & SICAP. She is also the co-ordinator of the North Cork Childcare Managers Network and Duhallow Carers Network.

TRIONA MURPHY MBS Cooperative and Social Enterprise, B.Sc Public Health & Health Promotion, IMCV Professional Manager Award, Training Delivery & Evaluation (QQI L6) Triona is Employment, Training and Social Inclusion Coordinator with overall responsibility for the SICAP Programme. She is the coordinator of the Towards Occupation Programme and oversees the Equality and Training briefs including: the Ability Programme, Duhallow REVAMP, the Walks Scheme, RSS and Tús. She works with communities in Western Duhallow to access LEADER funding and supports the work of both the Community and Youth and Education Working Groups.

LOUISE BOURKE B.C.L., Masters in Criminal Justice, Masters in Management, Dip in Learning and Development, Cert in Agri., IMCV Professional Manager Award; Training Delivery & Evaluation (QQI L6), Louise joined the IRD Duhallow in November 2010, as the Enterprise and Tourism Development Officer, coordinating the Enterprise and Tourism support measures of LEADER and SICAP. Louise implements the skillnet programme in the region, coordinating quality affordable training for local businesses. She is the appointed staff liaison for the Enterprise Working Group, the Saoi Network and the Literacy Support Programme, as well as co-ordinating the fortnightly edition of Discover Duhallow.

BRÍGHID-ÍDE WALSH M.Ed Early Intervention, B.A Hons Child and Adolescent Care and Practice, Supervisory Management QQI L6, Training Delivery and Evaluation QQI 6.

JACKIE KELLY Bbus Business, Bbus Advanced Certificate in Accounting, NCEF, National Certificate in Exercise & Fitness, Personal Training, Training Delivery & Evaluation (QQI L6).

Bríghid-Íde joined IRD Duhallow in 2019 as the Afterschools Co-ordinator. She is Assistant Co-ordinator of the Local Training Initiative in Horticulture, a Development Officer across LEADER, SICAP and Community Food Initiative and works on the Ability Programme where she supports young people with a disability to develop person centred plans and delivers the Life Skills element of the Programme. Bríghid-Íde is the staff resource for the Equality Working Group.

Jackie joined IRD Duhallow in September 2020, as a Development Officer, working with the Community and Employment Team. Jackie is an officer for the Ability Programme supporting the progression of those with disabilities. She is also responsible for employment support initiatives through the SICAP programme. She prepares the weekly and monthly accounts and reports for different programmes and she assists in the production of financial returns for Ability and SICAP. Jackie is the staff resource for the Equality Working Group.

TJ McAULIFFE BSc Construction Economics & Management, Post Graduate Diploma in Organic Farming.

MONICA GILMORE National Diploma in Business, Digital Marketing Institute Professional, Training & Development QQI Level 6.

TJ joined IRD Duhallow in February 2021, and currently works as a member of the Accounts team. In this role, TJ is responsible for completing the monthly company accounts. He prepares financial returns for the LEADER Programme. He also liaises with company auditors with regard to end of year accounts, and produces and presents financial reports for management and the Board of Directors on a monthly basis. TJ has recently taken over the brief of transport co-ordinator for our fleet of vehicles.

Monica joined the IRD Duhallow team in June 2021 as Development Officer in the Enterprise Team, working mainly on our Skillnet Programme. She also coordinates the enterprise and tourism LEADER funding. She brings many years of hospitality management, business development and marketing experience with her from her time in Washington DC and Ireland. She has previously held the position of secretary with Charleville Chamber of Commerce and has been a board member with local tourism development groups for many years.

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Details of Staff ALAINA FINN BBus (Hon) in Accounting, Qualified CPA accountant, Qualified CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), Dip. Forensic Accounting, Dip. Corporate Fraud. IPASS cert. payroll. Alaina Joined IRD Duhallow in April 2021 as Senior Company Accountant. She is responsible for creating and implementing internal financial controls. She oversees the governance and compliance for sources of income and expenditure and conducts financial returns for programmes such as LEADER and SICAP. She monitors budgets and prepares variance analysis along with commentary. She prepares relevant and up to date financial reports for the Board of Directors and liaises with company auditors for year-end accounts.

MARGARET O’CONNOR MAAT-Accounting Technician, AIPA – Payroll Technician Margaret is the senior accounts administrator and has been employed by IRD Duhallow for twenty-three years. She is responsible for the company’s financial systems and procedures and the implementation of the apportionment of overheads. She is responsible for completing financial returns for LEADER, SICAP, PEIL, LTI & Ability Programmes. She monitors programme administration budgets to ensure programme guidelines are followed. She liaises with the company auditors on an annual basis re year -end accounts. She also oversees the payroll and pension administration and prepares financial reports for management and the board of directors on a monthly basis.

MICHAEL MORRISSEY MSc Applied Science in Ecological Assessment, BSc Honours Agricultural Science

NOLLAIG MURPHY Masters of Social Work, H. Dip. Social Policy, B.A. (hons. Sociology and History), Q.Q.I. Level 6 Training Delivery and Evaluation

Michael joined IRD Duhallow in April 2019 as the AgriEnvironmental Specialist for the Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments EIP Project. He liaises with project farmers to implement results based measures to protect, enhance and restore riverine habitats in the allow catchment. He is a Department of Agriculture approved Cross Compliance Farm Advisory Service advisor and a Hen Harrier EIP Project approved advisor. As part of his role, Michael liaises with stakeholders in the Duhallow region to achieve the environmental objectives of the project and the company.

Nollaig joined the staff of IRD Duhallow in September 2017 on a part-time basis as a Development Officer on the Community and Employment Team. Nollaig assists in the co-ordination of both the LEADER and SICAP Programmes. She prepares the LEADER projects for progression through the evaluation stages and compliance checks. Nollaig is responsible for the company’s integration of new communities’ remit. She also works as a tutor on the weekly Touch Type Read Spell computer classes delivered through the literacy programme.

STEPHANIE MOYNIHAN M.A International Tourism, B.A (Hon.) Business in Tourism, Training Delivery & Evaluation (QQI L6), Supervisory Management (QQI L6)

MAGGIE O’CALLAGHAN

Stephanie joined IRD Duhallow in August 2018 and is a Development Officer as part of the Community and Employment Team supporting communities with the process of grant applications and claims. She is the staff resource for IRD Duhallow Jobs Centre and CV Clinic service, the Duhallow Carers Network and Dormant Accounts programme and coordinates a wide range of community education events. Stephanie is IRD Duhallow’s Communications Officer on the ILDN Communications Working Group and a regular contributor to the Discover Duhallow magazine.

Maggie joined IRD Duhallow in January 2020. She is currently supporting the finance department through the preparation and processing of monthly accounts for various programmes within IRD Duhallow. Maggie is responsible for compiling associated financial reports which are presented at the monthly Social Economy Working Group meetings. Maggie also supports both the business sector and communities through our Discover Duhallow magazine featuring articles from community events, promoting businesses through local advertising campaigns and supporting the development of this new social enterprise itself. Having worked abroad for over 13 years Maggie uses her experience gained to fulfil her current role.

DERVAL CORBETT ECDL, Cert in Supervisory Management

MIKE O’CONNOR MSc Sustainable Development, BSc Applied Plant Biology

Derval Joined the staff of IRD Duhallow in 1999 on a parttime basis. She is employed as a clerical officer and is based in the Reception and Administration Office where she deals with initial queries to the company and supports Management and Staff with administration duties. She is responsible for the company’s stationery requirements and is editor of the company’s monthly Newsletter, which is circulated to 15,000 homes in Duhallow. Derval is one of the Liaison Persons with the National Vetting Bureau on behalf of Partnership Companies supporting Garda Vetting Applications nationally.

Mike joined IRD Duhallow in November 2020 as the Project Scientist for the Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments EIP Project, which is focused on the Allow River Catchment region. He is responsible for the monitoring and verification of project measures and the surveying of farmland habitats. As well as his work on the EIP project, Mike works on the company’s LEADER-funded biodiversity projects which aim to engage communities in conservation practices ensuring the protection and improvement of local biodiversity. Mike is staff resource for the Environment Working Group.

JULIE O’FLAHERTY Bachelor of Business Studies & Finance, Training Delivery & Evaluation,

RACHEL BUDD B.A. Hons Sociology, Cert in Training and Development, Cert in Community Development, Cert in Therapeutic Horticulture

Julie joined IRD Duhallow in March 2015 and is part of the Finance department. Her primary responsibilities are in relation to the management of accounts for various programmes within the company. Her role includes undertaking revenue returns, banking reports, processing payroll on a weekly basis and reconciliation of supplier payments. Julie also conducts Financial Reports, Trading accounts & Balance Sheets, which she presents to the Finance and Social Economy Working Groups on a monthly basis.

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Rachel joined IRD Duhallow in 2014 as a Horticultural Trainer, working with Tús participants and members of the T.O group and Cope Foundation trainees to create the award winning IRD Duhallow Community Gardens. In March 2016 she became the Co-ordinator for the Local Training Initiative in Horticulture, which is currently in its 5th year at IRD Duhallow. She also works closely with the local GIY group which meet monthly at the James O’Keefe Institute.


2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Details of Staff MARIE FLEMING BSc Rural Development; Supervisory Management (QQI L6); Payroll Manual & Computerise (QQI L 5); Certificate in Health & Safety in the Workplace. Marie is supervisor of the Rural Social Scheme and oversees the participant’s placements throughout the Duhallow region. She is a COVID-19 Lead Worker Representative and secretary of the Health and Safety Committee. She coordinates company training and development in line with Excellence Through People guidelines. Her other duties include overseeing the Company’s IT and Phone Systems and undertakes returns to the Charities and Lobbying Regulator and ensuring the company is compliant with the Standards in Public Office.

COLM CROWLEY Diploma in Rural Development, Certificate in Business Studies, IMCV Professional Manager Award, Building Energy Rating Assessor, Manual Handling Instructor (QQI L6) Colm joined IRD Duhallow in July 2007 as the Warmer Homes Scheme Coordinator and is responsible for the implementation of a number of SEAI programmes which include the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme, Home Incentive Scheme and Better Energy Communities. Colm coordinates staff training in line with the National Standard Authority of Irelands Cavity Wall Insulation System. Colm is responsible for the preparation of monthly accounts for Warmer Homes and processes the Payroll. Colm chairs IRD Duhallow’s Health and Safety Committee.

COLM O’CONNOR SUPERVISORY MANAGEMENT QQI L6, TRAINING DELIVERY & EVALUATION QQI L6, MANUAL HANDLING INSTRUCTOR QQI L6. MAJOR AWARD IN CARPENTRY AND JOINERY QQI L6. Colm joined IRD Duhallow and the Furniture Revamp Team in 2016 and since 2020 has been the Revamp Kickstart Programme coordinator. As part of the IRD Furniture Revamp he took a lead in the enterprise qualifying for major national awards and Revamp being the first organisation accredited with ReMark, Ireland’s Reuse Quality Mark of Excellence. In addition, Colm is a member of the Health and Safety committee and is the in-house manual handling instructor.

NUALA RIORDAN Supervisory Management (QQIL6), BER Assessor, Cert. in Genealogy and Family History Nuala joined IRD Duhallow in Nov 2008 as an administrator. She worked on the Warmer Homes programme acting as BER Assessor. In 2012 she worked on the LIFE programme as an administrator and field officer. In August 2016 she was appointed Tús supervisor. Nuala is responsible for the AfterLIFE actions, including the eradication of Japanese knotweed in the Project area. She also oversees the administration of the Scheme. Nuala supervises the necessary maintenance of the Loop walks and the Duhallow Way.

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PADDY O’CONNOR Paddy is the Supervisor of our CE scheme and has over 20 years’ experience in the company. He focuses his efforts on engaging with the participants to motivate them and to help them identify their strengths and develop these strengths through their work placements and through training. He has welcomed the recent expansion of the IRD Duhallow CE Scheme to now include the areas of Kiskeam, Ballydesmond, Knocknagree and Cullen. Paddy is the company’s Health and Safety Officer and has developed policies and procedures in line with best practice in conjunction with the Health and Safety Committee.

DON MURPHY Cert in Archaeology ; Cert in Oral History; Training Delivery and Evaluation (QQI L6) Don was appointed Tús Supervisor in June 2011. His main areas of responsibility include placement, induction, training and supervision of scheme participants in the areas of built heritage renovation and vintage machinery restoration. Don has over 20 years’ experience as a subcontractor in the construction industry in Ireland and abroad. He has a keen interest in conserving the region’s built heritage. He is a master craftsman and stonemason and trains participants on the LTI, T.O and other in house programmes.

THOMAS TWOMEY Supervisory Management (QQI L6), Project Supervisor Construction Stage Level (QQI L6) Thomas joined our Warmer Homes team in August 2013 working on the new ventilation specifications of the scheme. He was appointed Tús Supervisor in August 2016 with responsibility for coordinating and supervising participants placed in a number of settings in communities in the eastern Duhallow area including the maintenance of Newmarket Pitch & Putt course. Thomas also looks after the transport portfolio in the company and coordinated the upkeep and maintenance of our fleet of vehicles.

CAROLINE O’RAHILLY Caroline joined our team in 2021 as Assistant CE Supervisor and works in Administration and Bookkeeping as well as supporting IRD Duhallow in the delivery of the CE programme. Her main duties are administration in the account’s office and assisting in day to day tasks relating to CE. She assists in compiling board reports, month end admin and financials activities which are presented to the Social Economy Working Group and IRD Duhallow Board on a monthly basis.


IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Environment The environment has been one of the 4 pillars of IRD Duhallow’s strategic plan since our inception. Under the stewardship of Chair Michael Doyle, the working group has made great strides in developing a range of environmental projects across Duhallow. We are the only local development company to have secured two major EU Life programmes. We continue to promote smaller projects that positively impact the environment we live in. One of the key objectives of the environment working group is to raise awareness about environmental issues with an emphasis on safeguarding endangered species and habitats.

where planting projects could be developed to promote biodiversity. The project was put on hold due to COVID restrictions but has resumed in May 2021 with remaining communities to be trained and audited this summer. This project aims to improve biodiversity across Duhallow communities and inform community members and groups such as Tidy Towns that may lack an in-depth understanding of biodiversity conservation. Topics of the training phase include helping pollinators, hedge laying, rainwater harvesting, pond creation and best practice Tidy Towns guidelines.

Achieving the UN Sustainable Goals is very important to IRD Duhallow. Many of our projects are relevant to several of the SDGs such as (13.) Climate Action, (14.) Life Below Water, and (15.) Life On Land.

Duhallow Water Biodiversity Training The environment working group secured LEADER funding in 2020 for a community training programme focussing on water biodiversity. IRD Duhallow worked closely with LAWPRO (the Local Authority for Water Programmes) to develop this project and environmental NGO Cork Nature Network were selected to deliver the training. The programme was initiated in April and 85 community members are currently participating. To date all participant training has been delivered online with participants learning about the quality and biodiversity of their local waterbodies as well as the pressures facing them and how they can make a difference to improve their rivers, streams and lakes. Field training began in late May where community members were trained in citizen science data collection techniques. Throughout the summer participants will develop locally-specific water biodiversity action plans that they can continue to work on for years to come.

Large-Flowered Butterwort, Pinguicula grandiflora, a rare carnivorous plant growing in a bog in Duhallow.

Bog Community Biodiversity Plans Upland and lowland blanket bog are under serious threat and have disappeared over much of Ireland. The working group have secured funding from the Community Foundation for Ireland to conduct baseline ecological surveys of important blanket bogs in Duhallow and to produce community biodiversity action plans to maintain and improve the quality of these important peatlands. Four blanket bogs have been selected and are currently being mapped and surveyed.

Barn Owl Project The universally loved Barn Owl was once a much more common sight in the Irish countryside. However, due to loss of habitat, increased use of rodenticides, and increased road networks in Ireland, Barn Owl populations have been declining in recent decades and the species is now categorised as a red-listed bird of conservation concern in Ireland. Duhallow is a stronghold for the remaining population and the efforts of previous projects have been successful at maintaining populations in the region. The environment working group have secured funding for a Barn Owl awareness and monitoring project which will take place this summer 2021. The project will firstly consist of a Barn Owl night where participants will attend a talk from Birdwatch Ireland at the James O’ Keeffe Institute followed by a non-intrusive nest site visit and prey survey. A nature camp will be organised for kids and a barn owl video and booklet will be prepared for the public. As well as these community engagement activities, man-made nest boxes installed in previous years in Duhallow will be inspected to test their effectiveness as a conservation measure and a novel farmer rodenticide-use survey will be conducted.

Students from Boherbue Comprehensive School being trained how to conduct a citizen science biological water sample by IRD Duhallow ecologists. Part of the Duhallow Water Biodiversity Training project will involve training communities to be effective citizen scientists.

Communities Planting for Biodiversity Through the LEADER programme, a community planting for biodiversity workshop was initiated in 2020. Several communities were given training in planting to help biodiversity and communities were audited to identify

Brighid Ide Walsh, Nollaig Murphy and Michael Twohig of IRD Duhallow signing a contract for LEADER funding for Barn Owl monitoring and conservation project under the programme’s Biodiversity measure.

Ian McGrigor of Gortbrack Organic Farm conducting a community biodiversity audit in Kanturk with the Community Development Committee.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments Projects The Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments EIP Project is a €1.47 million Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine funded results based AgriEnvironmental programme aimed A pond installed on a project farm showing natural revegetation shortly after installation, and at rewarding farmers one year after installation for the protection, enhancement and restoration of waterbodies in the Allow River Catchment. The catchment has several high status objectives waterbodies located in the Blackwater River Special Area of Conservation. This year saw the project complete year two of the proposed five-year project term and payments issued to project participants for the first time. 82 applicants were successful with entry into the project. 68 participants had farm surveys conducted from June – August 2020 to verify measures.

Cork Environmental Forum Sustainable Agriculture Award Our project was selected by Cork Environmental Forum for the Sustainable Agriculture Award. An online event took place in December to celebrate the achievement. On the night of the event, speeches from members of IRD Duhallow were well received by the distinguished audience. Dónal Daly, former head of the EPA, spoke about the excellent innovations demonstrated by participating farmers and praised the Members of staff, Mike O’ Connor, Project project for tackling the biodiversity Scientist, Maura Walsh, CEO, Michael Morrissey, Farm Advisors with Board crisis and reducing greenhouse gas Member James O’ Keeffe accepting the emissions as well as improving water Sustainable Agriculture category award quality. from Cork Environmental Forum Stakeholder & Industry Collaborations We have collaborated with the Local Authority Waters Programme through the community water fund on a number of projects with the aim of preventing silt from entering waterbodies in the project area and wider catchment. In November 2020 the project team A farm roadway upgraded by the project to began working on a LAWPROprevent runoff from a farmyard to the River funded novel silt trapping trial. Dalua T h e goal of the trial was to test the suitability of a bespoke engineered silt trap as a silt trapping mechanism capable of reducing the sediment load entering watercourses following flood events. The EIP project in collaboration with the Local Authority Waters Programme community fund carried on a template farm roadway upgrade on a select EIP participant farm. The farm roadway was identified as a nutrient loss pathway directly to the River The project team use Dalua as a result the farm road was altered macroinvertebrate ‘indicators’ and redirected left for a fifty metre section to to determine the biological break the nutrient pathway water quality of project rivers

Project Scientist Mike O’ Connor conducting a survey on a project farm

Project Baseline Surveying Baseline surveys to map habitats and identify measures were conducted on 82 land holdings this year. The hydrology and farm land drains and connectivity to watercourses were also mapped to identify and locate nutrient flow pathways, natural seepage areas and critical source areas. Four additional surveys including a habitat survey and measure verification, a biodiversity survey of each participant farm to establish the environmental quality of riverbank vegetation structure and whether the riparian zone was biotic or abiotic, a plant identification survey which listed positive indicator species for riparian zones and finally a farm wide survey was conducted to record habitats on each participating land holding. Habitats of interest for a results based payment based on scorecards were recorded. These habitats included species rich grassland, wet grassland, semi-natural grassland, alluvial or native woodland, vegetated drain buffers, riparian scrub, wetlands/ponds, instream woody habitat and river bank riparian zones. Land drains and their connectivity to qualifying rivers in the EIP project area were mapped for the A young hawthorn tree entire holding for each participant that planted along the River submitted an Expression of Interest form to the Allow under the ‘Riparian project. The flow pathway, vegetation structure Woodland Establishment’ project measure and adjacent land use type was recorded.

Owentaraglin EIP Earlier in 2021 the government announced an open call for new EIP-Agri funded projects. Originally €1.25 million in funding had been allocated but after receiving a huge amount of interest this was upgraded to €3 million. IRD Duhallow applied for funding to add the Owentaraglin River to our existing project for a period of one year. Their application was approved and we were awarded €198,870, making this the second biggest project from the 24 successful projects that received funding under the call. The project will welcome farmers on the Owentaraglin into the project from January 2021, placing emphasis on green infrastructure measures such as pond construction and farm roadway upgrades.

Results Based Payments Following baseline surveys results based payments of €80,565 were issued to 68 project participants in 2020.

Hugh O’Connor carrying out kick sampling. Hugh completed his college placement from MTU on the project

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Agriculture The Agriculture Working Group The Agriculture Working group of IRD Duhallow is broad and diverse and includes members from agricultural advisory, farming organisations, local farmers, Macra na Feirme, Kanturk Mart Co-op and local co-operatives. The group meets quarterly to discuss current and relevant topics in agriculture and how farming families Seamus and Mary Curtin tending to their animals over the winter period. COVID in Duhallow can be supported in both brought many challenges for the farming an economic and social context. The community since March 2021. group focused specifically on the CAP strategic review in 2020 with a submission prepared and lodged with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The group were updated and provided support to the Duhallow Farming for Blue Dot Catchments EIP Project.

Bee Keepers Association This past year has been like no other as Covid-19 has dominated the world and impacted on clubs, communities and associations. The Duhallow Bee Keepers association was no exception from this as they had to cancel all of their public events such as systems of bee keeping and pest & disease control. This made it a long year for some members as they were isolated from other people which they could not talk to in person. The secretary Andrew Burke has never “seen Renowned Castlemagner Bee Keeper Andy anything like this in his 43 years of Bourke bee keeping”. He hopes that the coming year will be a better one as the vaccines are being rolled out and some members are already fully vaccinated, so their meetings up are getting closer to becoming reality. Macra Na Feirme Macra na Feirme is the national organisation for young farmers and rural youth, which has some extremely active clubs in the IRD Duhallow region. Members aged 17-35 take part in activities across any of six key areas: Agriculture, Community Involvement, Performing Arts, Public Speaking, Sports & Travel. While the usual inperson social events, competitions, and ag talks came to a halt due to the Banteer’s Caroline O’Keeffe was elected as pandemic, many of these took place National Secretary of Macra na Feirme for 2021. online in the last year. From debating to radio drama, from stock judging to speed dating, along with countless quizzes, courses and fundraisers. The regional Macra representative Board Member Sean Wallace hopes as the country re-opens, a number of socially distant in-person events will be taking place, such as poc fadas, hill walks and farm walks, so if you are looking to reboot your social life, contact your local club on social media, or visit www.macra.ie

Minister Joe O’Brien, William O’Connor and IRD Duhallow’s Michael Morrissey on William’s farm in Coolageela, Kanturk.

The Common Agricultural Policy Review The new CAP aims to align agricultural with the principles of the European Union Green Deal. The EU Green Deal is a new strategy that is aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. A bio economy through the Green Deal will present opportunities for farm diversification and small scale family farms to survive in the current climate of intensification and unsustainability. The CAP from 2023 will focus on three dimensions’ social sustainability, environmental sustainability and economic sustainability. Through social sustainability it will aim to support rural farming communities by facilitating and promoting the role of family owned small holdings play in wider society. The new CAP will be environmentally sustainable by encouraging green farming, low input farming, promoting & Farmers attending an information enhancing biodiversity and meeting at the James O'Keeffe Institute on the results based payment method. protecting natural resources. The aim will be to align food production with the protection of the environment. Economic sustainability and farm viability is at the core of the new CAP. This sustainability will be achieved by supporting farmers by implementing a fair system, coupling income support and environmental measures through conditionality and green infrastructure or ecosystem services payments. The provision of rural development support through community led groups like IRD Duhallow will be at the heart of the new CAP to ensure that environmental management on farms is economically sustainable for land holders in Duhallow.

Gas Networks Ireland Collaboration An innovative collaboration with Gas Networks Ireland looking at the feasibility of an Anaerobic Digester Hub in the Duhallow region was also agreed for commencement in 2021. IRD Duhallow CLG proposed to conduct a feasibility study into the suitability of the Allow River Catchment Area for the construction and supply to thereafter of an Anaerobic Digester Hub. The aim was to develop a self-sustaining model that can be replicated to other sensitive catchments. The project will work with farmers to identify a suitable framework & logistics including the identification and support of an AD Hub. The project will explore the use of regenerating riparian biomass and organic waste as potential biomass for the AD. The project will work with GNI to determine a more suitable approach to sourcing, harvesting and prepping available material, the management of which is necessary for the long-term conservation of the SAC. A successful application was prepared and submitted to Gas Networks Ireland for a total of €25,000 along with a successful application through LEADER in November / December 2020. After a review of suitable renewable energy consultants XD Consultancy was selected to carry out the feasibility study with a proposed start date of April 2021 agreed. An example of Alluvial woodland which may be eligible for payment under the current CAP review from 2023 as a biodiversity percent.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

After LIFE Having completed our Raptor Life Programme in 2019, we are committed to implementing the afterlife plan, a requirement of the programme. The AfterLIFE plan is the final output for the project “Connecting and restoring habitats for Hen harrier, Merlin, Atlantic salmon and Brook lamprey” and Creating awareness amongst schoolchildren provides a guide to the ongoing – This was an integral part of the LIFE project management of the sites and we continue to do workshop and camps with young people in the region. implemented during the lifetime of the project. Table 1 outlines the work we are committed to and have been undertaking since the official completion of the project.

eradicated and reduced on 83.3km of riverbank. Invasives has been treated and reduced on an excess of over 300km of road network, these being vector routes to the river catchment. Water quality was also improved by the clearing of conifers (13.6ha) on the juvenile River Blackwater, connecting two Natura 2000 sites. This clearing also provided a foraging corridor for Hen harrier. In addition, the project has further enhanced the SPA for Hen harriers and other raptors by improving 24.3ha of heather cover, implementing a range of actions on 6 project farms, clearing regenerating conifers from 33.8ha. 31 Merlin nesting baskets were also erected and 50 Scots pine trees were planted to provide nesting for Merlin.

Table 1 Measure

Strategy for AfterLIFE measures and stakeholders Scots pine IRD Duhallow , RSS/Tús/students to monitor progress of trees Heather management IRD Duhallow, RSS/Tús/students to monitor recovery Merlin baskets IRD Duhallow, RSS/Tús/students to monitor/maintain baskets Farm measures IRD Duhallow, RSS/students to monitor recovery, mow/mulch as required on farms with Molinia/rush acc. to best practice Road invasives IRD Duhallow, RSS/Tús/students to continue follow up survey and treat/monitor road invasives

Eradicating Japanese knotweed on the rivers. If left untreated it dies back in winter leaving exposed banks vulnerable to erosion, causing siltation of the substrate, which in turn causes unfavourable habitat for the endangered Freshwater pearl mussel and spawning habitat for salmon and lamprey.

Riparian Himalayan balsam

IRD Duhallow, RSS/Tús/students/volunteers to continue to eradicate/monitor Himalayan balsam on project rivers Riparian Japanese IRD Duhallow, RSS/Tús/students to continue to knotweed treat/monitor Japanese knotweed on project rivers Regenerating conifers IRD Duhallow, RSS/Tús/students/volunteers to continue to monitor/remove any further regenerating conifers in areas cleared during the project Engage with volunteers/public for bird monitoring Fish stock survey Creating awareness amongst children Website

Planting native Scots pine for potential nest sites for Merlin.

Treating Japanese knotweed on the roads. The invasives on the roads are vector routes for the rivers, sometimes entering drains or streams and finally into the main watercourse causing habitat damage for annexed species.

Stakeholder Engagement Landowners Landowners and farmers both in the SAC and the SPA have been an integral part of the RaptorLIFE project. Their engagement varied from farmers participating in a range of specific actions as Project farms, to farmers having their lands fenced back from the river and restricting the cattle from entering the river, to farmers allowing access across their lands to treat invasives/monitoring the target species.

IRD Duhallow to continue to engage with students/volunteers to train/encourage train/encourage bird monitoring IFI to continue to conduct fish stock surveys IRD Duhallow to continue to inform/educate awareness amongst school children IRD Duhallow to continue to update website with any relevant news

We have had numerous volunteers, including qualified people to students, to the general public from the local area to those from far away. These volunteers have provided support in a variety of project actions from data recording, Himalayan balsam Volunteers Hen harrier monitoring. Gathering removal, surveys, Hen data on these endangered species is crucial to find out species population levels. harrier/Merlin monitoring. They have assisted in the project for experience or quite simply because of the value/importance they have placed on the work they were carrying out.

Project Objectives This project aimed to restore habitat through an integrated network of actions across important Natura 2000 sites for Hen harrier and other species. IRD Duhallow’s unique position as a rural development company, directly working with the local communities of Duhallow placed it in a very strong position to bring the local community on board and ensure the project’s success in both the short term and long term. RaptorLIFE made numerous improvements to the Upper Blackwater SAC (including the River Owentaraglin catchment). 28.9km of river has been fenced and vulnerable eroding banks planted and the provision of 88 alternative drinkers. Himalayan balsam has been manually removed and reduced on 126.2 km of riverbank. Japanese knotweed has been

The success of the project and its actions relied on this engagement of landowners, state agencies and the local communities. This relationship of respect with the various relevant stakeholders with IRD Duhallow preceded and benefitted the project. IRD Duhallow merited this trust from the stakeholders through its previous environment projects and with its thirty years of bottom Volunteers setting off for a ‘Balsam Bash’ as part up development approach.

Undertaking habitat restoration on the project farms. This involved mulching of vegetation to increase small mammals – prey for the Hen harrier.

of the ongoing work of AfterLIFE

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Rural Regeneration Fund get selected. They have continued to work with us and their local representatives to resubmit this year.

Maura Walsh, CEO, IRD Duhallow turns the sod at the Banteer Sportsfield Building Project in the presence of John O’Leary, Asst Secretary; Thomas O’Keeffe, Builder; Denis Withers, Secretary; Dermot McCarthy, Chairman; Seamus O’Keeffe, Committee; Jack O’Connell, James Vaughan, O’Shea Leader Consulting Engineers; Donie Barry, Treasurer and Patrick Buckley, Committee

The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) is a commitment of €1 billion by government to be invested in rural Ireland over the period 2019 to 2027.The purpose of the fund is to support job creation in rural areas, address de-population of rural communities and support improvements in our towns and villages with a population of less than 10,000, and outlying areas. Initial funding of €315 million has been allocated to the fund on a phased basis over the period 2019 to 2022.

Drawings of the proposed new community amenity in Knocknagree.

The proposed project for the village - Knocknagree Community Hub, will be purpose-designed facility that addresses the need for community facilities to return social and economic vitality currently lost to the village core. The Community Hub will occupy some 794m2 of accommodation over two floors.

The feasibility study into the regeneration of Knocknagree was conducted by Bill Thorne of Exodea Consulting.

An Aerial Photo showing the finished Astroturf facility in Banteer.

Banteer Banteer was awarded €1.2m in February 2019. The main thrust of the project was the development of a regulation sized Astroturf pitch and support facilities. The promoter, Banteer & District Community Sportsfield, are now in the final stages of competing the project with the spectator stand building nearing completion. The facility includes an all-weather facility, spectator area and sports pavilion which encompass changing areas/museum/exhibitor area /café area and a communal area for events and meetings. The benefits of this development are numerous and include access for all to this state of the art recreation facility, the only community owned one of its size in the county; the further promotion of exercise and healthy living including the combatting of childhood obesity and teenage inactivity; and will compliment and expand the existing facilities of Giving the project the thumbs up. The second phase of Banteer. Projects such as the Banteer Astro Turf project is the development of a this ensure small rural areas new community building with changing rooms, toilets, continue to thrive and are disabled facilities, spectator stand area, museum and the lifeblood of rural tea room facility incorporated. This is being built by O’Keeffe’s of Banteer. Ireland.

The ground floor will provide for a multipurpose hall and a community café/retail space. Additionally, community enterprise space and a range of ancillary uses are provided for. The first floor will contain a multipurpose space and viewing gallery for the main hall, accessed by a staircase. Within the site will be a LEADER funded playground, adding further to the functionality of the Hub.

All of the facilities to be provided in the Hub were identified by the community, and are designed to encourage the existing community to make more use of the locality from a social and enterprise perspective. The new building has been designed to visually complement the village core, and provides a natural infill to the streetscape bounding the recently restored Fair Green and sited adjacent to the Church. The facility will have minimal impact on traffic in the village, since it shares extensive existing public car parking space. The development of the new Community Hub will see activity and traffic generation directed away from the existing Community Centre site, which was constructed in the 1950s as an old village dance hall. The existing building is of very poor construction, does not have any directly accessible car parking, and presents ownership challenges. It also fronts directly on to the R582, which is a narrow and very busy access road through the village, to the primary school, and nearby major joinery works and factory and which has ribbon development on both sides.

Knocknagree IRD Duhallow supported Knocknagree Development Association through the LEADER programme to engage consultant Bill Thorne to do a full and comprehensive study on the Knocknagree and surrounding area in order to develop a community plan. The study identified a number of developments that would help regenerate the area and the Rural Regeneration programme was identified as the appropriate fund. The group applied in the 2020 call and were disappointed that they did not

Knocknagree Garden of the Five Senses will provide a practical application of biodiversity that will add to environmental appreciation with the capacity to improve the quality of life for all in the village.

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Knocknagree Community Hub forms a pivotal element of the broader Knocknagree Village Development, which will ultimately include the addition of a Garden of the Senses into the Fair Green, together with specific improvements to the existing public footpaths throughout the village.


2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Enterprise Testimonial - Michael Buckley Michael Buckley identified a need for ‘ladderless gutter cleaning’. Using a SkyVac machine (which cleans and clears gutters, soffit and fascia), Michael can undertake high reach cleaning in awkward places quickly and easily. Michael’s equipment can extend up to four storey buildings. Michael furthered his knowledge by partaking in the IRD Duhallow’s SICAP funded Start Your Own Business course and set out a comprehensive business plan and market research before getting started. Mentoring The value of a mentor is having someone who can ask questions that clarify the situation and can help relieve the anxiety that builds when there is nowhere to articulate the doubts and concerns that a new entrepreneur might Schooling taking place at the LEADER Funded gallops feel starting out in owned by Michael Winters. This facility is open for hire by business. Funded through all local equestrians in the region. SICAP, the purpose of the IRD Duhallow Mentor scheme is to help meet with this need by using our panel of very experienced mentors who bring a range of skills, insights and backgrounds in a range of sectors. The mentoring period typically involves 4-5 sessions over a 12-month period with approximately 2 hours per session. The programme is completely free for successful applicants.

Cllr Gerard Murphy (North Cork LAG Vice Chair), Cllr Bernard Moynihan (North Cork LAG Chairman), John Corkery of Alu Cast, James O’Keeffe (IRD Duhallow), Willie Heffernan (Alu Cast), Maura Walsh (IRD Duhallow), Michael Twohig (IRD Duhallow) and Eileen Linehan (IRD Duhallow) at the LEADER Contract signing. Alu Cast were awarded funding for the purchase of a robotic welding cell.

The past 18 months have been extremely challenging, especially for small rural businesses in the Duhallow region. During this critical time, the Enterprise Working Group has worked tirelessly to disseminate information, about supports and initiatives aimed at supporting businesses who have been affected by lockdowns and restrictions. LEADER The Department of Rural and Community Development increased the rate of aid for private promoters under the LEADER programme from 50% to 75% to allow businesses who may have struggled due to COVID restrictions to invest in capital items. This will enable them to become more sustainable into the future. Since the commencement of LEADER 14-20, twenty-two businesses have received funding through the programme. This funding has helped sustain the existing 176 FTE and create an additional 68 Jenny Rose Clarke and Toby Simmonds new jobs. The LEADER artisan food received funding under the LEADER initiative, which provides funding artisan food initiative to purchase equipment for Toonsbridge Dairy. support for new and existing artisan, micro and small food producers, has also been extended during the CAP transition period. The LEADER Food Initiative provides financial supports to participants in the artisan food and beverage sector in areas such as market development, competitiveness, and innovation as well as for the renovation and extension of production facilities and the purchasing of processing equipment. Eligible businesses are those with an annual turnover of up to €10m and employing fewer than 50 people. The increase in the rate of aid to 75% was also welcomed in this measure. IRD Duhallow has supported five projects to be funded under this initiative.

Start You Own Business Training Through SICAP we delivered two Start Your Own Business Training programmes. The courses were delivered by Ruth Cosgrave of Via Lutea and focused on numerous aspects that entrepreneurs must consider before beginning your start-up, including your business idea, finances, and market research. Kerry Month of Enterprise Kerry Month of Enterprise (KMOE) is a month long celebration of local

SICAP Through the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme, funding is provided to tackle poverty and social exclusion. One of the means of doing this is through supporting people to generate their own employment in establishing a business. We also work with smaller businesses to support them to Michael Buckley of Buckley’s Advanced Cleaning become sustainable and Services who started his own business with the generate employment.

Through SICAP, IRD Duhallow supported Kerry Month of Enterprise. Pictured at the launch is Moira Morrell Kerry County Council Manager and Mayor of Kerry; Councillor Patrick Connor-Scarteen along with project partners.

businesses. A series of events organised during the month gives established businesses and budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to network and discover the assistance available to them in growing and sustaining a business in Kerry. IRD Duhallow is a project partner along with Kerry County Council, Kerry Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland, Munster Technological University (Centre for Entrepreneurship Enterprise Development – CEED), North, East & West Kerry Development (NEWKD); South Kerry Partnership Development (SKDP), IDA Ireland and Udarás na Gaeltachta. This year to mark the event, we hosted two webinars focused on ‘Wellbeing in Remote Working’ with Jennifer Dowling of Train Remote.

support of SICAP.

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

IRD Duhallow Skillnet Health Care Support Worker COVID brought with it a huge demand on an already stretched health care sector. The QQI Level 5 programme in Health care funded through Skills Connect saw 12 participants successfully graduate from the Health Care Support Worker QQI Level 5 major award. 85% of those have gone straight from graduation into employment and one went on to undertake further studies.

Skillnet steering group members Eileen Linehan and Michael Twohig planning the Skillnet activities for the remainder of the year with Louise Bourke, IRD Duhallow.

Since Duhallow Skillnet was founded in May of 2015 we have supported 5,674 Trainees across 2,510 member companies to attend 35,372 training days. The aim of the Skillnet is to provide affordable, quality training to businesses within the Duhallow Region. The year 2020-2021 brought with it many challenges, primarily that our training model had to completely adapt to purely online delivery. However, it also brought with it great opportunities to access a wider range of trainers from all across the globe. It gave businesses the chance to take stock, conduct a skills audit and afforded them the time to upskill and address identified skills gaps.

Lámh Tutor Barbara Roche delivering a Lámh 1 programme online.

Training for the Childcare Sector This year saw Duhallow Skillet deliver our first Level 8 programme in a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Early Childhood Education & Care in conjunction with IT Carlow. Thirty trainees have completed the course and are set to graduate this Autumn. The success of this is evident in that Duhallow Skillnet in conjunction with IT Carlow will this year be delivering a number of Level 7 programmes. Rebound Childcare Initiative In response to challenges presented by COVID-19, a partnership of four regional Skillnet Business Networks (Duhallow, MBE, Limerick Chamber and Next Level) in conjunction with Early Childhood Ireland developed a free online training portal for owners, managers and staff of early years and school age childcare services, the first online training portal of its kind for the 3,500 childcare services nationwide. The training addressed the measures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and supported the safe and sustainable re-opening of the sector.

Skillnet Ireland CEO Paul Healy and Chairperson Brendan McGinty launching the Skillnet Ireland statement of strategy 2021-2025

Statement of Strategy 2021-2025 In November, Skillnet Ireland launched their statement of strategy for 2021 – 2025. The new strategy centres around three key pillars: 1. Workforce Design 2. People Development 3. Strategic Innovation

The rebound programme was based online and covered two vital areas: Return to Work Safely training, as well as an online Compliance Programme to maintain and develop skills of existing staff and support the induction of new staff. Following on from these, participants could choose to partake in a number of additional optional modules including Computer Skills, Personal Skills as well as Health and Safety.

Dave Flynn, Executive Director with Skillnet Ireland speaking at the online graduation ceremony in March.

“The impact of Skillnet Ireland’s Rebound Initiative on our sector has been both immediate and immense. The partnership has been invaluable to our members in ensuring that they can return to work in a safe and confident way, allowing them to focus on providing safe, amazing experiences for young children.”

Duhallow Skillnet is working on the delivering our training using the strategic focus of these three key themes. We look forward to working with businesses to support the talent demands for a more digital future and building a low-carbon and sustainable economy. By developing our talented workforce within the Duhallow Region we will ensure businesses are equipped for the future.

Elaine Sharkey, Director of Communications & Development, Early Childhood Ireland

Fit 2 Work Portal In conjunction with the IACT we developed an online learning hub. Funded as part of the Skillnet EAP programme, through this free portal, participants can access up to 50 hours of training across three themed areas: Computer Skills, Personal Skills and Career Skills. Over 60 participants have availed of the programmes on the hub throughout the past year. Right: During Level 5 lockdowns salon consultant Liz McKeon delivered a series of seminars 'Roadmap to Reopening' for those working in the hair and beauty industry.

Tutor Karen Twomey from the Communication Hub preparing to give an Instagram Workshop to members of Duhallow Skillnet

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Digital Marketing Programme Through the newly introduced Skills Connect measure of Rebuilding Businesses and Supporting Impacted Workers, IRD Duhallow delivered a 10-week Digital Marketing programme. This programme was entirely aimed at women who were on the live register due to COVID-19 and it incorporated a QQI Level 5 certificate in Digital Marketing as well as one to one mentoring, workshops with industry experts accompanied by CV preparation and interview skills. Fourteen participants successfully completed the programme.


2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Tourism Duhallow as a region has a unique range of outdoor pursuits and adventure activities including picturesque walks and idyllic angling locations, as well as a vibrant heritage that attracts people to the region. IRD Duhallow has undertaken a number of projects in the past year to support the region’s tourism.

project is to help preserve the history of the Old Cork to Kerry Butter Road while turning it into a recreational amenity for the region. One of the main butter roads ran in an almost straight line of about 70 miles long, from Castleisland, Kerry to the Butter Exchange in Cork, where the butter was auctioned off to the highest bidder. The road was one of the first planned and properly built roads in the country as opposed to roads that simply developed from paths and tracks. The farmers travelled by donkey and cart, bringing their goods to market. Duhallow Trail App

Duhallow as a region has a shortage of available accommodation. Through the support of LEADER Katrin and Walter Alhert have recently signed a contract to develop Eco Pod Accommodation on Mount Hillary.

The Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence Whilst international visitors to Duhallow’s trout teemed rivers were a rarity this year due to COVID restrictions. The highly skilled Gillies in the region have noted an increase in Domestic Tourism in recent weeks due to the easing of restrictions. The Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence was founded through the support of LEADER in 2012, since then it has undertaken numerous initiatives to ensure the quality and standard of Duhallow as an Angling destination for tourists. Angling tourism has a major economic impact on the local economy with accommodation providers, restaurants, supermarkets, tackle dealers and local bars all Howard Davies from England enjoying benefitting as well as creating and trout fishing on Duhallow’s well stocked maintaining local employment levels rivers

A group enjoying the Claragh Loop Walk in Millstreet.

With the assistance of LEADER 2014-2020 funding IRD Duhallow is currently developing an app which will advertise, promote and encourage users to access recreational trails in the region. The app will have information for each of the trails available in Duhallow including: route descriptions, start/finish points, maps, directions for driving to trailhead locations, local information and history of the area, descriptions of native flora and fauna, closest amenities, local contact and safety information, equipment needed where applicable etc. The app will be designed to be interactive to help visitors navigate, capture and share their experiences with others on social media platforms. A Trails Monitoring App license has also been purchased to allow personnel to monitor all walks i.e. detection and recovery of invasive species, trail damage, damaged or missing signs, litter and offline mapping. The system is currently being used by Rural Recreation Officers around the country and is in line with Sports Ireland monitoring requirements

The Outdoor Infrastructure Scheme

Newmarket Pitch & Putt Newmarket Pitch and Putt’s unique 18-hole course was designed by Michael O’Leary of Sol Golf Ballydesmond and was funded by the LEADER programme.

Ballyhass Lakes is one of Ireland’s premier outdoor activity centres. The entrance and roadway into the centre were recently upgraded with the support of LEADER funding. Allan Dugdale (Competition Secretary), Margaret O’Brien, and Connie Buckley (Club Chairman) after winning a weekly club competition

The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) contributes to the strategic objective of strengthened rural economies and communities as set out in the Project Ireland 2040 strategy. It specifically supports the growing outdoor activity tourism sector as prioritised in “Our Rural Future”, Ireland’s Rural Development Policy 2021-2025. The initial works for the upgrading of the Old Butter Road was completed under ORIS 2017 and 2019. IRD Duhallow was successful in securing ORIS funding in 2020 for a section of the Old Butter The region’s unique Sliabh Road in Rathmore and for a section of the Luachra Culture and Heritage is Butter Road in Bolomore, Rathcoole. Both of of paramount importance. The these sections were just under a mile long. An Maurice O’Keeffe festival is one application is being submitted for ORIS 2021 of the musical highlights in the Duhallow calendar. This year for the upgrade of the Millstreet Ballydaly the festival celebrated its 20th section. The overall objective of this bigger anniversary with an online

complied with the standards set by COVID safety. This included the use of a fob system that served to update the previous attendance tracking, as well as other safety measures. During lockdowns, extensive work was done to ensure the course was kept up to an incredible standard and always ready to return to business. The club works closely with the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland to ensure the best possible experience for individuals or teams.

festival.

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It’s a picturesque course that draws players from all over Munster. Upon the lifting of restrictions, the course returned with new measures that

Sheila O’Connor & Celine Drew enjoying a round of Pitch and Putt in the sun in Newmarket.


IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Culture and Heritage Duhallow Choral Society The Duhallow Choral Society was founded twenty-five years ago on the 6th March 1996. Brigid Daly has been the choir manager since the beginning. At the time Brigid was a director on the board of IRD Duhallow and applied to LEADER for funding to setup a choir for people around Duhallow. Throughout their 25 years, the choir has travelled far and wide. They received LEADER funding under the 07-13 programme for new uniforms which give a professional and positive look to the choir. The choir are silent for over a year now because of the pandemic, but with brighter times ahead, the choir will celebrate their silver Jubilee with a Gala concert hopefully in the not-too-distant future.

footage to showcase the history and background attached to the famous seanchaí. These recordings were released on social media helping to keep the significance of the festival alive. In previous years, workshops on storytelling have been held with local children and youth and the committee hope to come back stronger than ever in 2021 to help ensure the tradition of storytelling in Sliabh Luachra is preserved for future generations. Millstreet Pipe Band There are few regions which can boast such a richness of pipe band music as the Duhallow region itself. Duhallow is fortunate to lay claim to Cullen, Newmarket and Millstreet Pipe Bands all of whom are awarding winning in their own right. Millstreet Pipe Band is 70 years old this year and are well renowned nationally and Members of Millstreet Pipe Band proudly showing off their new instruments and internationally. In 2020 they were uniforms that were funded by LEADER. supported under the LEADER Programme to upgrade their uniforms which were over 35 years old and had served the members well along with new equipment also. This funding has helped bring the band into a new era with new modern uniforms and better sounding equipment. It will also help them to continue to train, encourage and continue the tradition of pipe music in the locality and beyond.

Members of Duhallow Choral Society who performed for President Michael D and his wife Sabina Higgins.

Castlemagner Book With the support of SICAP Castlemagner Community Development Association produced a book entitled ‘When I was About Knee High’ The publication is a wonderful record of times past with heart-warming stories, memories, poems, precious old and beautiful scenic photographs. It has preserved old stories and traditions and in future years will very much be part of local history. In the words of Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh, who penned the book’s foreword: “In their own way, each of the contributors to this book is also capturing forever their unique lives and perspective and these are equally worth remembering and celebrating; ní bheidh a leithéidí arís ann.”

Muskerry through the Mac Suibhne Lens IRD Duhallow has always recognised the important role that local publications play in preserving our history and heritage. Through the LEADER Programme Macroom Tidy Towns were supported in their publication of a book based on over 470 local pictures and stories of local events which relates to the 1980s and which was compiled by local authors Sean and Maire McSweeney.

The book ‘When I was Knee High’ features local memories and stories. It was compiled by Castlemagner Development Association during lockdown.

The Eamonn Kelly Weekend Legendary Seanchaí and Actor Eamonn Kelly was born in Gneeveguilla, and though it is almost 20 years since his passing the local community are as passionate as ever to remember him and to keep his legacy for story telling alive in Sliabh Luachra and through the LEADER programme a monument was erected in his memory. The Eamonn Kelly Weekend was established over 5 years ago and enables locals and those from further afield to honour Eamonn Kelly by taking part in various workshops and storytelling sessions. Like many festivals and events in 2020 their roll out had to change and with this the community showed their innovative nature by keeping the weekend’s activities alive virtually. With the support of SICAP funding the committee was able to undertake video recordings including drone With the support of SICAP, the annual Eamonn Kelly event held a

Sean Mac Suibhne, Martin Coughlan and John Lyons launching the book Muskerry through the Mac Suibhne Lens that was funded by LEADER in South Cork.

Cultural Centres Duhallow is home to a number of cultural centres including Gneeveguilla Teach Failte, Glash, Tureencahill, Freemount Heritage Centre, Aubane, Laharn, Bruach na Carraige and the Glen Theatre in Banteer. These were developed with the support of LEADER Triona Dennehy of IRD Duhallow and committee funding and are important members (right to left) Donal Hickey, Eileen Fleming and local amenities acting as Martin Murphy launching the latest edition of the Sliabh Luachra Journal. local social hubs, but also playing a pivotal role in preserving and passing on Duhallow’s unique and vibrant heritage.

series of events online this year to mark the occasion.

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Community Development

Cllr Tony O’Shea with Sheila Crowley, secretary of Laharn Community Action CLG, in the new office space at the Laharn Heritage Centre Broadband Connection Point

quality of their broadband, if they even have it, is quite poor and often household situations aren’t conducive to working from home. The community based hubs aim to support workers and third level students who are either fully remote or participating in blended work or learning to access fast broadband and a quiet space to work in their own community.

Peter Lane pictured with fellow committee members and supporters of Clondrohid Community Hall, including former IRD Duhallow board member Breeda Kelleher, outside the Community Hall building which received LEADER support for the replacement of windows and doors.

Virtual Community Meetings COVID 19 did not prevent dialogue and cooperation amongst community groups in Duhallow. Throughout the unprecedented crisis IRD Duhallow’s working groups, with representatives from the board and staff as well as local community stakeholders and state sector representatives, continued to meet virtually. This provided a vital platform for discussion and allowed IRD Duhallow to identify the real needs on the ground. Travel restrictions, social distancing protocols, and general disruptions to daily life have made it impossible to hold in-person meetings and therefore a number of community groups convened online. Virtual meetings became integral for communities to stay connected and ensure continuity of operations. A number of community groups held their AGM’s online. The COVID-19-induced transition to virtual meetings has not been welcomed by all as it was reported that people missed the opportunity to meet and to interact in person. There has also been a number of difficulties that come with virtual meetings e.g. poor connection – highlighting the broadband inadequacy in rural areas. Other non-technical challenges experienced during virtual meetings included disruptions during meeting Committee Member Lil Fleming with Joan O’Riordan pictured in Tureencahill caused by people wanting to raise Community Centre, where new windows their view at the same time, silence and blinds were installed through LEADER 2014-2020 Funding. during discussions etc.

Discover Duhallow

Tadhg Curtin, George Hindmarsh, Louise Bourke and Caleb O’Connor who compile the fortnightly edition of Discover Duhallow.

Discover Duhallow is a fortnightly community publication containing local news and information. First launched in September of 2019, the popular magazine now has a circulation of 4,000 hard copies as well as thousands of views online. The magazine is edited in house with the support of participants from Tús, RSS and CE schemes and this platform provides ideal hands on experience for participants. During COVID times the magazine was a vital support to many helping them keep in touch with what was happening locally in their communities and how to access vital services. Articles are submitted by community correspondents as well as regular contributors such as SOS Fitness, New Leaf Health Stores, the IRD Duhallow Job Centre, Millstreet Veterinary Group, Trevor O’Donoghue (Astronomer), Alice O’Brien (Psychiatric Nurse) and Tom Dennehy.

Community IT Hubs The recently released Future of Work report shows that 72% of organisations have implemented remote working policies in the last year and the consensus is very much unanimous that remote working is here to stay. This opens up the region of Duhallow to a huge number of white collar jobs, making the region a much bigger employer, with the added bonus of where people can have a fantastic quality of life in a rural setting. With the assistance of LEADER 2014-2020 funding a number of community IT hubs were established including Tureencahill, Aubane, Glash, Laharn, Banteer and Kilbrin. These facilities support the retention of skilled people in rural Duhallow as well as attracting “mobile talent” to the region. The need for the regional IT hubs was identified in the aftermath of Covid when people in the community were forced into a situation where they needed to be able to work and/or study from home. For many in rural areas especially those outside of villages and towns the

Playground Developments in Duhallow With the assistance of LEADER 2014-2020 funding IRD Duhallow’s Community Development Working Group has assisted communities in Ballinagree, Millstreet, Kanturk, Tullylease, Rockchapel and Kiskeam to design and create playground spaces for children regardless of their age and abilities. Playgrounds provide multisensory experiences that help to build childrens’ specific developmental skills including: Sensory, Motor,

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Community Development out of 25 seats with 2 seats each allocated to North Eastern, South Eastern, Western and the Mid Cork Area. Our company structure allows for such widespread representation and those interested are elected democratically through community elections. We would like to thank Mary Wallace for her term on the board representing South Eastern Duhallow and we welcome Geraldine O’Leary to the board from Millstreet. Training for Community & Voluntary Groups Through our work on the ground with community and voluntary groups across the region we have seen an increase in the number of active community groups in Duhallow. Governance and officer training is of paramount importance for new and current volunteers in their roles in the community. As the world of community development becomes ever more bureaucratic with more Thomas Carmody Gneeveguilla GAA Development Officer and Stephen Crowley paperwork required it can be very off Club Chairperson outside Gneeveguilla putting for new volunteers to be Hall which received LEADER funding for recruited and they need to be the repair of its roof under the LEADER supported through this process. programme 2014-2020. Funding applications, governance requirements, fundraising are all areas that committees need to navigate carefully. Our Community Development Working Group has recognised this need and has successfully been approved LEADER funding to deliver a training programme which will address governance issues, strategic planning, roles and responsibilities, funding applications, managing volunteers and facilitating meetings.

The new Playground in Kiskeam funded under the LEADER programme 2014-2020 which caters for children of all age groups

Strength and Cognitive. Play teaches children social skills e.g. how to share fairly, to make new friends and to play as part of a group. Children are not the only ones who benefit from community playgrounds. The playgrounds have provided a relaxed space for parents and guardians to meet people living in their own local area. In addition, the playgrounds promote physical activity, encouraging children to exercise while disguising the physical activity as fun and games and setting the foundation for an active lifestyle as they become older.

Growing Plants on a Budget Living materials such as flowering plants, fruits, shrubs, trees, vegetables and herbs stimulates thought, exercises the body and encourages an awareness of the external environment.

Geraldine O’Leary and Denis Hickey of the Millstreet Playground Committee. Millstreet Playground was refurbished with the support of LEADER funding.

Community Elections

There are many benefits to growing and planting; it can lower stress levels as natural environments have a calming influence, it is an inexpensive recreational activity that can encourage socialising and decrease isolation, it improves air quality, it is a Pádraig O’ Briain preparing to facilitate the online “Growing Plants on a Budget” therapeutic tool and being immersed course. in nature positively impacts mental health. Gardening activities offers a low-impact exercise which improves physical health. There is a positive correlation between the presence of green areas with plants, shrubs and trees and physical activity levels; people are much more likely to exercise in an aesthetically pleasing area.

Bweeng Trail Blazers Athletic Club have successfully applied for LEADER Transitional Funding in relation to a feasibility study for the construction of a running track. Pictured representatives include Aidan Crowley, Deirdre Collins, Donal Collins, Brian Ahern and Michelle Geaney.

From our work with disadvantaged communities over the years we have identified a number of initiatives in response to the issues affecting them; following on from face to face group consultation meetings with these communities, held the end of 2019, we identified a need for training in planting and growing. Community representatives took part in a 3 week online Growing Plants on a Budget course. This training will assist in maintaining the health and wellbeing of communities. Participants learned how to successfully grow new plants from seeds, divisions, stem and root cuttings; How to save and store seeds; Covering shrubs, trees, herbs, vegetables, fruit and house plants this course gave participants the confidence they need to grow plants and take care of them and in the process money.

‘Lighting Up Macroom’ Through the support of LEADER funding in the South Cork Area the town of Macroom benefitted from new Christmas lights in the year 2020.

For over 30 years communities across the Duhallow region have been represented on the board of IRD Duhallow. This current allocation is at 8

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30 Years of LEADER This year, LEADER is celebrating 30 years since its inception. The LEADER programme (in French – Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l'Économie Rurale – In English - Links between actions for the development of the rural economy) began as a European Commission initiative to address rural decline and Comhar LEADER na hÉireann delegation being hosted by Commissioner Padraig depopulation, as outlined by the then Flynn in his Brussels office, Chairman President Jacques deLores in The Anthony Leddy Cavan Monaghan RIP, Future of Rural Europe. Its ethos was Commissioner Padraig Flynn, Mr Larry O’Neill Wicklow LEADER and Maura Walsh. simple but challenging to the status quo, LEADER, by engaging local communities, businesses and organisations to establish a Local Action Group to plan and take charge of their own futures in a Bottom-up approach by supporting a range of projects in their Natural Area of Development, right throughout Europe. IRD Duhallow was selected as one of the first 17 pilot groups in Ireland and has accessed all LEADER programmes since 1991. LEADER was so successful across Europe that it was given a key role in Pillar ll of the Common Agriculture Policy. LEADER has resulted in huge investment of €23m in grant aid and when coupled John Lougheed DG Agri, Maura Walsh IRD with private matching funds and the Duhallow, Gerhard Grosch Germany, Julio Conde Spain, Robert Luckash Austria OAR value of voluntary labour and & AEIDL. EC/AEIDL panel of experts Austria donations comes to over €40million, in 2001 introducing the Specific Features of LEADER. Duhallow communities and business. LEADER has contributed to creating a living countryside and has enhanced of quality of life of the people of Duhallow.

boundaries. The IRD Duhallow LEADER territory fits this definition perfectly. • Bottom-up: Local people are the best experts to drive the development of their area. This bottom-up approach means that the local community and local players can help define a development pathway for their area consistent with their needs, expectations and plans. This bottom-up approach is enshrined in the EU regulations with provisions for animation and for decision making ensuring that no one interest group can have a majority.

The 1993 Executive Board of IRD Duhallow: Conor O'Flynn, Frank Healy, Jerry Sheehan, Michael Twohig and CEO Maura Walsh

• Local Action Group. The people who were previously the passive 'beneficiaries' of a policy become active partners and drivers of their area's development; this is a defining characteristic of Community-Led Local Development The involvement of local actors should be fair and transparent including the population at large, economic, civic and social interest groups and representative public and private institutions. The added value of this approach is associated with local empowerment through local strategy development, delivery and resource allocation.

For the application of LEADER II funding, IRD Duhallow developed its strategic aims which, for the first time looked at 4 thematic areas of development- Human Resources, Cultural Resources, Economic resources and the Environment. The strategic framework has served us well and still more than relevant now. Signing the LEADER II Contract, Minister Jimmy Deenihan, Jerry Sheehan IRD Duhallow Chairman, Frank Healy ViceChair RIP, Department Inspector Oliver Healy and Maura Walsh IRD Duhallow.

• Innovation: giving LAGs the flexibility to introduce new ideas and new methods, taking on new programmes to augment and address all aspects of development.

Minister Eamon O Cuiv attends the IRD Duhallow LEADER conference with Board Members Don Crowley, Judy O Leary, Jack Roche & Michael Doyle and staff members Maura Walsh, Eileen Linehan and Mary McHugh.

LEADER is defined by its 7 Specific Features:

• Area-based: Natural Area of Development, small enough to be cohesive but large enough to allow development occur, not aligned to municipal or other political

• Integration: between economic, social, cultural and environmental actions, as distinct from sectoral development approaches. All LEADER themes and sub themes must be included.

• Networking: enabling sharing and learning among people, organisations and institutions at local, regional, national and European levels. • Co-operation: among LEADER groups and other Actors, to share experiences, allow complementarity or to achieve critical mass. LEADER Cooperation is well recognised as an ideal tool to promote cohesion across rural Europe. This model has served rural areas across Europe well and in the case of Ireland, we were held up as the example of how LEADER should be implemented from LEADER 1 through to LEADER 07-13. IRD Duhallow, as an Irish Local Action Group was invited to the then preaccession countries, firstly Finland

Minister Micheál Martin with Board Members, Dick Daly Department Social Community & Family Affairs, Michael Moynihan TD, Conor O’Flynn and Jack Roche with Maura Walsh and Brendan O’Keeffe.

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Derry Fitzpatrick, Maura Walsh and Tim Lucey with Ivan Yates.


IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

30 Years of LEADER and Austria then the Eastern European countries like Poland and the Czech Republic, and then Romania and Croatia as they too prepared to join the EU, to address public meetings and promote the LEADER concept and how it worked and was implemented in Ireland.

and social Capital in region, that recognises what the Carnegie Charter for Rural Development coined, Asset Based Community Development approach. The aim of the initial LEADER programme 1991-1994 was to establish the Local Action Group as a local strategic development organisation; the second LEADER programme 1994 to 1998 had the Former Minister for Agriculture theme of Innovation which, was to Michael Creed with Former IRD encourage the newly formed LAGs, fresh Duhallow Chair Mary Wallace at our from the success of the pilot initiative, to Enterprise Awards. take on new areas of work that they could stretch their capacity and integrate with, or compliment LEADER. For many of the Irish LAGs, this varied from the exchequer funded Social Inclusion programme to other EC Initiatives. The next iteration of LEADER (2000-2006) required us to have a Thematic approach to Development of our areas with actions cascading therefrom, IRD Duhallow chose Environment, as even back then we recognised that we had a real asset that could benefit our farmers and communities into the future. Our last strategic plan as an independent LEADER LAG (07-13) was themed on Sustainable Rural Development and our board, taking into account the feedback from community consultations chose four Strategic Pillars, Social, Cultural, Economic and Environment Development. This approach is ideally positioned to deliver on the European Commission’s Community Led Local Development Strategy.

LEADER has contributed in a big way to the development of the President Mary McAleese opens Bruach Na Living Countryside concept, better Carriage in 1999 pictured with Jack Roche. known as The Cork Declaration which was adopted as European Policy during the 1994 Irish Presidency’s major Rural Development Conference. From community centres and recreation facilities to local walks and playgrounds, tourism accommodation to activity centres and cultural facilities, lifelong learning

LEADER 14-20 As has been well documented, the Irish Government took the decision for the 5th LEADER programme in Ireland, to change the delivery structure to one where the LAG or Local Action Group – would be a sub group of the Local Authority to be known as Local Community Development Committees. IRD Duhallow became an Triona Dennehy with Implementing Partner of the three LAG’s Former Minister Pat Ring that cover our region, with the budget decimated by a 70% cut to the programme in Cork. As Implementing Partner, we did our best to navigate the lengthy timelines and deadlines between expressions of interest, application processes, evaluations and LAG meetings followed by the issue of contracts. We have supported communities to access the programme successfully across all themes and subthemes. Former Minister John O’Donoghue, with Former Taoiseach 2020 was the final year of the programme and we Bertie Aherne, John Sheahan, Maura Walsh and Cormac Collins. fully committed our budget with many projects to be paid out in 2021.

IRD Duhallow Evaluation Committee 2003, Mort O’ Connor Enterprise Ireland, Michael Manning and the Late Noel Dillon

and community development, as well as infrastructural projects like small and medium business set up and expansion, creating jobs and wealth to encourage people to remain, return, live and thrive in rural areas, LEADER has been the backbone of Rural Ireland and especially in Duhallow.

CEO Maura Walsh with Secretary General Gerry Kearney at the Ploughing Championships in Tullamore.

Much of the fabric of Duhallow life has been benefitted from LEADER. Every community has been supported to access LEADER and to develop the assets of their own areas. LEADER has been the catalyst to many other sources of funding for more specific thematic projects, for example, IRD Duhallow is the only LDC that has secured two LIFE programmes worth €5.5m specifically targeted at the Environment. Having a successful Local Action Group like IRD Duhallow has meant that a range of other programmes to address a diverse range of needs of the whole population, have been accessed and delivered in an integrated manner, adding value and accelerating the impact of both the new programmes and LEADER.

We welcome the Transitional Programme funding put in place for January 2021 by Minister Humphries and expected to last until December 2022. It includes a Project as well as Administration budget to ensure communities and enterprises can continue to receive funding support.

IRD Duhallow no longer enjoys the title of Local Action Group as that passed to the Local Authority LCDC’s in 2015 under the Better Local Government policy in Ireland. We are now referred to as Local Development Companies and Implementing Partners of LEADER. However, on this the 30th anniversary year of LEADER, it would be remiss not to highlight the importance of the programme with its bottom up approach, the Local Action Group grounded in the community, delivering in a natural area of development with an integrated, cooperative ethos. A programme that has the capacity to go way beyond the administration of the giving of a grant, but one that builds capacity within a community

Current Chair Breda Moynihan Cronin, Michael Twohig with Former Minster Pat Rabbitte

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30 Years of LEADER 10% of Pillar ll in Ireland. Furthermore, we would like to see CLLD implemented with LEADER as lead programme.

North Cork LAG Chairman Bernard Moynihan signing a contract for LEADER funding for the development of Kanturk Astro Turf Pitch – Mick Breen, Cllr Gerard Murphy, Padraig Breen, James O’Keeffe, Maura Walsh, PJ Cremin, Michael Twohig, Eileen Linehan and Tom O’Callaghan.

EC Evaluation

Knowledge sharing, networking and collective lobbying is a key part of the work of ILDN, allowing all the Local Development Company CEOs to meet on a regular basis.

The Commission is keen that Member States have regard to the seven Specific Features of LEADER to ensure its authenticity in the next round, with Smart Villages and Communities as a core theme. IRD Duhallow entered into a cooperation project with independent LAGs Kilkenny LEADER and Galway Rural Development to jointly develop a Smart Village curriculum that can be rolled out to all communities so that rural communities and villages are strategically positioned to maximise the possibilities the next LEADER programme brings. ILDN The Irish Local Development Network CLG (ILDN) is the representative body for Ireland’s Local Development Companies. These 49 (35 Rural and 13 Urban) not-for-profit groups are building inclusive, vibrant communities and better life chances for people in every part of Ireland. IRD Duhallow has been a member of ILDN since its inception. Through its working groups, Local Development Companies can meet and network and discuss important issues surrounding the Programmes we administer and learn from each other. The ILDN executive meets with Department officials regularly to discuss issues of its members and achieve better outcomes of the programmes we deliver. It is ILDN policy that reinstating LAG status for all Local Development Companies like IRD Duhallow is the only real way to deliver LEADER in its intended format going forward.

Mags Atkin and Torren Ellis participating in the Water Biodiversity programme which was funded by LEADER.

Earlier this year Dr Katarina Kubinakova and Dr John Powel of the University of Gloustershire, presented the preliminary findings of their Evaluation of the Current LEADER Programme. IRD Duhallow with the two other Implementing Partners in North Cork, along with the LAG in Clare and Implementing Partner in Wexford were chosen to participate in the study look forward to receiving the final report. Evaluation of LEADER 14-20 Maambo Chifwepa is an international student at University College Cork (UCC) and is studying on the MSc. in Co-operatives, Agri-Food and Sustainable Development Programme We are delighted to welcome him to Duhallow as part of his programme. He is conducting a research study on sustainable rural development that assesses the impact of the IRD Duhallow LEADER 2014-2020 programme through tracking and Maambo Chifwepa, profiling the progress of the project promotors. international student at University College Cork (UCC) When he returns to Zambia to his Civil Service researching role, he hopes to transfer the knowledge and LEADER in Duhallow. skills gained in Ireland to the Rural Development Department. LEADER 2021-2027 The European Commission proposed in May 2018 the new EU budget for the 2021-2027 period, including for a reformed, modernised Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The new CAP will have a budget of € 365 billion and continue to support direct payments to farmers and rural development. It will place a greater emphasis on the environment and climate, support the transition towards a more sustainable agricultural sector and the development of vibrant rural areas. It is hoped that LEADER will get its budget restored to

Martin Murphy of Cumann Luachra with the book that was funded by IRD Duhallow under the LEADER programme with Maura Walsh, Eileen Linehan and Nollaig Murphy. The photo is taken at the entrance of the Donal Murphy Board Room in the James O’Keeffe Institute. Donal was Martin’s brother and a founding member of the James O’Keeffe Institute.

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2020 - 2021

LEADER Projects LEADER North Cork 2014-2020 % Aid PROMOTER Rural Tourism 50% Tom Dennehy 50% Kilguilkey House Ltd 50% Maritime Tourism Ltd 100% IRD Duhallow Women's Forum 100% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 64% Millstreet Pipe Band 44% Dromtariffe GAA 75% Kiskeam Development Association 75% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 75% Katrin and Walter Ahlert Enterprise Development 100% IRD Duhallow's Enterprise Working Group 50% Cromur Engineering 50% Daniel P Buckley Wool Merchants Ltd 50% Kanturk Mart 50% Hickey Metering 50% Erin Geraghty 50% Michael Winters 50% John Pigott 50% Vanhalen Engineering Ltd 50% Kanturk CVRT 50% John Guerin 75% Janet Burke 75% Corkery Alu-Cast Enterprises Rural Towns 75% Boherbue Community Sports Centre CLG 75% Araglen Development Association 75% Boherbue Parish Hall Committee 75% Lyre Community, Culture, Sport and Leisure Association Ltd 75% Banteer Old School Heritage & Drama Trust Clg 75% Kanturk Rugby Football Club 86% Knocknagree Community Group 75% Rockchapel Community Centre 75% Kilbrin Community Council 46% Millstreet Town Park Committee 75% Newmarket GAA 74% Newmarket Community Development Association Broadband 75% Aubane Social Club 75% Laharn Community Action Ltd 75% IRD Duhallow's Employment and Training Working Group 90% Kilbrin Community Council 75% Banteer Community Sportsfield CLG Basic Services 75% Boherbue Community Development Association 90% Millstreet & District Housing Equipment 75% Tullylease Playground Committee 75% Rockchapel Community Council 100% Cullen Pipe Band 52% Bweeng Community Hall and Grounds Committee 60% Kiskeam Development Association 59% Kanturk & District Community Council 75% Kilbrin Community Council 90% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 75% Banteer Community Sportsfield CLG 90% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 45% Millstreet Town Park Committee 100% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 90% Bweeng Trail Blazers Athletic Club 36% Kanturk Community Astro Turf CLG Rural Youth 90% IRD Duhallow Youth and Education Working Group 75% Newmarket Pitch & Putt 75% Freemount Community Development 75% Kanturk AFC 75% Freemount Community Development Water Resources 90% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 100% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group Biodiversity 75% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 75% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 90% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 74% Boherbue Community Development Association 90% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 100% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 75% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group Renewables 75% Banteer Community Sportsfield CLG 90% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group

PROJECT NAME

GRANT COMMITTED

The Development of Self Catering Accommodation Purchase of Portable Stabling Enhancement of facilities and Equipment for Ballyhass Lakes History, Heritage and Genealogy Training Training in the Planning, Recording and Publication of Community Led Heritage & Historical Stories Millstreet Pipe Band Uniforms and Equipment Publication of Dromtarriffe Through the Years Kiskeam Walking Trail Duhallow Trails App Mount Hillary Holiday Pods

20,000.00 25,000.00 40,012.40 7,800.00 12,850.00 25,000.00 5,000.00 24,750.00 21,840.00 36,869.07

The Provision of a Suite of Start Your Own Business Training Programmes Purchase of Equipment Purchase of a Wool Press Baling Machine Development of New Car Park Purchase of Equipment Class Development for Cork Baby Sensory Development of New Gallops Purchase of an Engraving Machine Purchase of a CNC Plasma Cutter Development of Kanturk CVRT Centre Purchase of a Wheel Lathe for Alloy Wheel Refurbishment New Jumping Equipment for Valley View Equestrian Centre The Purchase of a Robotic Welding Cell

5,550.00 30,000.00 10,000.00 39,999.99 12,500.00 1,151.02 40,000.00 2,694.50 55,000.00 88,746.96 14,970.00 8,561.69 64,950.00

Refurbishment of Boherbue Community Sports Centre & Construction of Indoor Sports Wall Repairs to the Footbridge of the Glouneen Loopwalk Repair of Roof of Boherbue Parish Hall Development of Lyre Community Park & Leisure Area Glen Theatre Lighting, Seating & Equipment Repair of KRFC Driveway & Carpark To Conduct a Community Development Plan for Knocknagree Upgrades to Rockchapel Community Centre Refurbishment of Kilbrin Community Centre Refurbishment of Millstreet Playground Development of Newmarket GAA Walkway Floodlighting of Newmarket Tennis Courts

12,373.52 10,300.12 22,813.00 35,752.00 20,721.94 37,029.37 27,673.12 10,545.50 8,475.00 55,431.66 35,114.06 35,125.00

Purchase of ICT Equipment Laharn Broadband Connection Point Upgrade of Computer Lab Development of Kilbrin Community Hub Development of Banteer Hub

1,259.75 2,074.40 10,000.00 9,853.21 7,719.60

Development of Boherbue Foot Path Purchase of Equipment for Millstreet Day Care Centre Development of Tullylease Playground Rockchapel Playground Development Cullen Pipe Band Tuition Programme Upgrade of Community Hall Roof Development of Kiskeam Playground Kanturk Playground Refurbishment Upgrades and Equpment for Kilbrin Community and Sports Centre Community Gardens Lawnmower Banteer Community Sportsfield Carpark The Purchase of Community Trainin Equipment Upgrades to Millstreet Town Park Training for Duhallow Community & Voluntary Groups Feasibility Study for Bweeng Community Sports and Recreational Facility Development of Car Park for Kanturk Community Astro Turf

40,000.00 2,665.00 37,104.64 36,435.20 4,755.89 44,785.55 57,200.00 57,615.11 25,962.80 14,157.00 62,590.00 26,408.25 15,000.00 2,974.66 10,236.60 40,000.00

Duhallow Youth Research Project Upgrading and Development of Newmarket Pitch and Putt Surfacing of Freemount Community Centre Car Park Kanturk AFC Boundary & Security Fencing Development of Freemount Youth Space

12,647.00 48,266.06 42,842.00 18,166.10 38,809.35

Feasibility Study on the Allow, Dalua & Glen Rivers Water Biodiversity Training Programme For Duhallow Communities

4,374.90 35,481.33

The Conservation of Swifts in Duhallow Publication of a Living Landscape Duhallow Bog Feasibility Study Development of a Biodiversity / Wild Flower Garden Barn Owl Monitoring and Awareness To Conduct a Biodiversity Training Plan Communities Planting for Biodiversity Project

19,033.40 6,787.50 7,583.69 8,700.00 23,283.00 17,189.10 117,642.81

Banteer Community Sportsfield Renewable Energy Project Feasibility study into Duhallow Anaerobic Digester Hub

17,867.25 24,516.00

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

LEADER Projects LEADER North Cork 2014-2020 % Aid PROMOTER Artisan Food 75% Bainne Codladh Limited (Lullaby Milk) 50% Duhallow Community Food Services 75% Jack McCarthy (Kanturk) Ltd Transnational 75% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 90% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 90% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 100% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group Project Total Committed

PROJECT NAME Feasibility Study for Lullaby Milk Equipment for the development of DCFS Food Production Area Fit Out Duhallow Day of the Region Cooperation Project River Feale Catchment Management Study SMART Village Training Curriculum Cooperation Project Smart Villages Training Delivery

GRANT COMMITTED 5,625.00 45,504.29 80,071.14 158,683.51 9,711.90 7,078.50 16,347.83 2,179,609.24

LEADER Kerry 2014-2020 % Aid PROMOTER Rural Tourism 75% Cumann Luachra Enterprise Development 50% Sean Hickey Scaffolding Rural Towns 75% Rathmore Community Council 75% Gneeveguilla Community Development Assoc. 75% Tureencahill Community Group 75% Gneeveguilla GAA Broadband 90% Tureencahill Community Group Basic Services 72% Tureencahill Community Group Ltd 75% Gneeveguilla GAA 90% Gneeveguilla Community Development 100% IRD Duhallow Community Development Rural Youth 90% IRD Duhallow Youth and Education Working Group Water Resources 100% IRD Duhallow Environment Working Group Biodiversity 74% IRD Duhallow Environment Working Group 90% IRD Duhallow Environment Working Group 100% IRD Duhallow Environment Working Group 75% IRD Duhallow Environment Working Group Transnational 75% IRD Duhallow Community Development Project Total

PROJECT NAME

GRANT COMMITTED

Publication of the Sliabh Luachra Journal

21,882.00

Purchase of a Sandblasting Machine

56,000.00

Rathmore Streetscape Development Gneeeguilla Sports & Leisure Centre Tureencahill Community Centre Replacement of Windows Reroof of Function Room

78,013.65 27,564.30 13,477.48 8,250.00

Development of Tureencahill Hub

7,426.88

Furniture and Equipment for Tureencahill Community Centre Repair the Roof of Gneeveguilla Community Centre Teach Failte Upgrade and purchase of Equipment Training for Duhallow Community & Voluntary Groups

6,621.25 37,774.88 5,564.08 1,281.47

Youth Feasibility

2,582.00

Water Biodiversity Training

10,000.00

The Conservation of Swifts in Duhallow Duhallow Bog Feasibility Study Biodiversity Training Plans Communities Planting Project

5,164.73 3,753.93 3,510.45 28,411.03

The Day of the Region Project

32,407.20 €349,685.33

LEADER South 2014-2020 % Aid PROMOTER Enterprise Development 50% Denis J Downey Ltd 50% Macroom Tidy Towns Rural Towns 75% Lee Valley Enterprise Board Basic Services 50% Ballinagree Community Development Company 75% Clondrohid Community Hall Committee 100% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group Rural Youth 90% IRD Duhallow's Youth & Education Working Group Water Resources 100% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group Biodiversity 74% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 100% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group 75% IRD Duhallow's Environment Working Group Artisan Food 75% Lee Valley Enterprise Board 75% Toonsbridge Dairy Ltd Transnational 75% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group 100% IRD Duhallow's Community Development Working Group Project Total

PROJECT NAME

GRANT COMMITTED

The Installation of 3 Phase Electricity Publication of Muskerry Through the Lens

20,000.00 2,348.00

Macroom Christmas Lighting

6,441.36

The Development of Ballinagree Playground Upgrade of Clondrohid Community Hall Training for Community & Voluntary Groups

64,999.34 9,870.26 2,276.87

Duhallow Youth Research Project

2,582.00

Water Biodiversity Training for Communities

12,612.19

Duhallow Swift Boxes To Conduct a Biodiversity Training Plan Communities Planting for Biodiversity

5,241.54 3,510.45 9,999.99

Equipment for Macroom Food Festival Toons Bridge Dairy Expansion

28,136.73 162,574.92

The Day of the Region Project Smart Villages Training Delivery

26

32,407.20 8,173.91 371,174.76


IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme 2018-2022 was facilitated and pursued online. In line with up to date government guidelines/restrictions and to help limit the number of people physically present in the building at any one-time, virtual classroom environments were facilitated through Zoom. Courses and workshops were designed and delivered in a way that included engagement features that encouraged twoway interaction and participation that simulated and in some cases exceeded what they would receive in a physical attendance environment. Real time chat between participants and tutors were integrated into virtual classroom environments. Interactive forums through this virtual e-learning environment ensured that the complex needs of all learners were addressed.

IRD Duhallow’s Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) aims to tackle poverty and social exclusion through local engagement which supports people to identify the local demands and the pressing needs of their own communities. It offers both group sessions and one-on-one individual support in the areas of wellTriona Dennehy of IRD Duhallow, being and personal development, showcasing SICAP projects to community education and Minister Joe O'Brien employment supports. SICAP is funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and is managed locally by IRD Duhallow with support from Local Authorities in Cork and Kerry. The programme actions and initiatives are spear headed by IRD Duhallow’s voluntary working groups.

Mitigating Against Educational Disadvantage Since the very beginning of the Pandemic, the gap between those with good internet connection and digital technology and those lacking such tools (which have suddenly become primary goods) has become even more apparent. The digital divide was further heightened with inadequate access to broadband in Duhallow. In responding to the basic needs of communities and adapting to overcome the challenges ahead during the pandemic and in the aftermath, IRD Duhallow commenced a Remote Learning Response Initiative. The aim was to support educationally disadvantaged learners in accessing and participating in community education. The initiative places a strong focus on community education as a mechanism to continue to support and engage with disadvantaged learners. In addition, there was a focus on enabling the investment in building the digital infrastructure to ensure that online learning could be delivered in a way that meets the complex needs of all learners. IRD Duhallow purchased ICT equipment which will be made available to loan for the purposes of assisting disadvantaged learners to access remote learning either at home or in their local community centre remote hub. Learners with no access to broadband in their home are ILDN CEO Joe Saunders with Taoiseach able to access the training in their local Micheál Martin to launch the Social community centre remote hubs. Inclusion Community Activation

The COVID-19 Pandemic has served to exacerbate pre-existing inequalities, putting vulnerable individuals and groups at even greater risk of social isolation and loneliness. The challenges that faced rural Duhallow prior to the current pandemic still remain, and new challenges have now also emerged. Unfortunately, the social consequences of the prolonged lockdown and social distancing has resulted in more pronounced levels of social exclusion. People have felt isolated from each other and the outside world. The range of measures introduced by the Government to slow down the spread of Covid19, including restrictions on travel and social gatherings, the closure of schools, and the requirement for businesses to put safeguards, such as social distancing in place to protect their staff and customers disrupted all aspects of community life. There was unprecedented disruption to recreational, sporting and cultural activities as well as religious gatherings e.g. weddings, funerals etc. The usual engagement involving face-to-face interaction, in community centres or other physical locations became impossible during the periods of lockdown restrictions. In line with the Government Roadmap and COVID-19 Adaptation Framework IRD Duhallow continued to demonstrate the commitment, adaptability and resilience by making concerted efforts to maintain learning continuity through online engagement. A significant share of ongoing community based actions, originally provided face-to-face were adapted for online delivery. Much of the training that had started in classroom environments

Programme Annual Progress Report 2020

FUNDS COMMITTED TO PROJECTS 2020 ACTION

CORK

Goal 1

KERRY

Action 1 Stakeholder Engagement

Community Newsletter Action 2 Empowerment of Disadvantaged Communities Cost of Meetings for Duhallow Carers Telephone for Bereavement, Counselling and Domestic Violence Helpline Castlemagner Book Agrikids Seminar Series Kerry Community Awards Kerry Covid Response Defibrillator CPR Training Action 3 Collaborative Networks Cost of Meetings for the Saoi Network Membership Fees Activites for Aging Publication Action 4 Intergration of New Communities CV Preparation Drishane Accommodation Centre Action 5 Community & Social Enterprise Duhallow Furniture Mask Making Project Book - Eoghan O’Rua Laptop for DCFS Grant for Tureencahill Community Group Grant for Danu Childcare Rathmore

3901.26

1263.28

59.64 256.18

32.24 80.83

1500 1120.78 200 200 79.31 60.51 247 875.52

19.11 42 276.48

450 1128.29 1000 443.27 810 1162.8

Goal 2 Action 6 Connecting Youth Provision Youth and Education Working Group Meetings Public Speaking Workshops for Primary School Students Agrikids Seminar Series Addiction Workshop Action 7 Community Education & Life Long Learning Employment and Training Working Group Meetings Personal Development Training Programme Online Workshops in Wellbeing Paediatric First Aid Training Managing Childhood Anxiety Seminar Irish Sign Language Training Personal Development Training Programme Irish Sign Language Training

13.39 760 969.22

4.23 240 660 550

72.55 1264.65 379.07 650 836 885.12 1264.65 1120

7.2 672.43 119.71 264 279.51

27

ACTION

CORK

KERRY

First Aid Training Membership Fees Eamonn Kelly Weekend Defibrillator CPR Training Action 8 Disability & Mental Health Comm Inclusion Shine Phrenz Group Towards Occupation Transport Equality Working Group Meetings TO Personal Development Training Phone for Duhallow Care and Repair Action 9 Labour Market Activation Training Brochure Preparing for the World of Work Life Coaching Safe Pass Training Forklift Course Site Dumper Course 360 Excavator Course Chainsaw course Meetings for the Employment and Training WG Action 10 Job Centre Emotional Support & Counselling Newspapers Training Brochure Online Interview Skills Action 11 Self Employment Mentoring Programme Start Your Own Business Courses Enterprise Working Group Meetings Michael Buckley, Kanturk, Sky Vac, Gutter cleaner Social Media Strategy for Business Training Action 12 Supporting Disadvantaged Children & Families Literacy Support Programme Tablets for Newmarket Afterschools Seminar on Empowering Parents Action 13 Adult & Second Chance Education Hayley O'Driscoll Katie Togher Maria Brennan Hauwa Umaru Phyllis Healy Majella O'Dwyer

675

675 36 800 376.69

100 1345 144.05 1400.86 11.03 99.42 1200 1678.62 1500 1600 1200 1568

2.88 34.97 1600 1544.63

13.14 963.36 286.48 569.63 194.63

269.71 92.38 645.71

1716.88 3700 95.23 1265

45 7.81 800

4244.62 632.5 342 500 500 500 500 450 500

1340.4 108


2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Equality and Social Inclusion Central to IRD Duhallow’s response to Equality and Social Inclusion is the Equality Working Group. The function of the Equality Working Group is to champion and prioritize the needs of underrepresented groups in the Duhallow area through the promotion of strategic and supportive actions aimed at mitigating the impacts of social exclusion and disadvantage. With a diverse membership the working group consists of representatives who have given long-term voluntary service to the group and newer members who have become more recently become involved. Each member of the group has their own unique expertise in the area of inequality and social inclusion.

qualifications and the availability of suitable supports can be problematic. Grounded in the realization that certain circumstances may generate barriers to participation, thereby increasing the risk of exclusion, IRD Duhallow facilitated an online training seminar in relation to c.v. preparation. As part of this training the residents of the Drishane Accommodation Centre were invited to log on to develop their understanding of how to prepare an impressive CV and how to adapt their CVs to suit any future employment being sought. Supporting Higher Educational Attainment In 2020 IRD Duhallow was also proud to be able to support Hauwa Umaru in her second year studies in her M.A. at the University of Limerick, through our SICAP adult and Second Chance bursaries. This scheme is in place to support adults who may not previously had the opportunity to complete their higher level education.

Introducing Kevin O’Connor of IRD Duhallow’s Ability Programme to his first meeting of the IRD Duhallow Equality Working Group, which was facilitated on the Zoom platform.

IRD Duhallow under its adult and second chance bursary measure has supported the further education of adult learners. One such recipient in the year 2020 was Hauwa Umaru.

IRD Duhallow received funding from Corks Sports Partnership which allowed for the support of sports and physical activities and for some equipment provisions and resources for the IRD Duhallow Ability group.

Testimonial - Hauwa Umaru My name is Hauwa Umaru, I applied for the SICAP Education Bursary in your organisation to help fund my master’s programme at Mary Immaculate College Limerick. I just wanted to use this opportunity to say a big thank you to the team of IRD Duhallow for contributing to the success of my masters. I must say that your funds helped a long way to ease some of the burdens that I encountered during my studies. I was really encouraged and it gave me the zeal to succeed as I knew that you gave it your best to support me and this helped other organisations to contribute to my studies too as they saw your fund as a stepping stone for them to add their own little bit too. More so, as I progress to my second year of the programme now, I hope to graduate successfully adding values to my life, contributing to the community and to the developing economy of Ireland. Many thanks.

Encouraging inclusivity in the Duhallow area In 2020 IRD Duhallow were successful in qualifying for a Department of Justice Community Integration funding project. The purpose of this project is to develop and promote an increased awareness of people from different ethnic groupings living among our communities in the Duhallow Region. IRD Duhallow through its equality remit proposes to deliver training on integration and inclusion across a wide geographic audience, with particular focus being placed on younger people in second level education. Throughout this project an emphasis will be placed on supporting common ground between migrants who may be new to locality and people who have pre-existing links to the region. The project will seek to make positive impacts on attitudes towards members of new communities living locally through facilitating fully inclusive events which are geared towards the integration of migrants into the local communities. The events will be held with an underlying theme of the interconnection and significance of all members of the community, with a focus on the innate potential of all attendees to prevent racism.

Throughout the period 2020-2021 a number of supportive actions and events were undertaken, which were all underscored with the theme of valuing the diversity of Duhallow. Supporting Migrants in Direct Provision IRD Duhallow CLG provides representation at the ‘Friends of Drishane’ group, which was formed to facilitate a joined-up network of agencies involved in the delivery of supports for those residents in the Drishane Castle Accommodation Centre. Meeting regularly, attendees who are derived from broad spectrum of professional backgrounds, meet to the give their input into the emerging and Through the use of technology IRD Duhallow staff existing needs of the have kept in contact with SICAP clients through Zoom residents of the center. during the pandemic. Here Development Nollaig Murphy makes contact with a member of new Focused on optimising the communities in relation to training opportunities. overall service response through communication and co-ordination of efforts, this forum is focused on strengthening co-operation and connection.

Showcasing the diversity of the Duhallow Population As the year 2020 drew to a close two feature articles were published entitled ‘Far Away Festivities’ in successive editions of the Discover Duhallow magazine. Examining how Christmas is celebrated in other cultures, individuals representing different countries including Zimbabwe, India, Russia, Poland and other nations submitted personal stories to Discover Duhallow on the traditions they enjoyed growing up. These highly personal and beautifully written accounts served to show all readers the diversity that exists within Duhallow at this most special time of the year.

Lifelong Learning Opportunities For an individual who chooses to live in Ireland the recognition of their

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Equality and Social Inclusion Duhallow Carers

Joan Cashman led a Colour Me Beautiful seminar with members of the Duhallow Carers Group through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

Our last Dormant Accounts programme 2018-2020 played a vital role for carers over the last 18 months allowing them to access accredited and non-accredited courses, various workshops and talks while also being able to network with other carers through our regular meetings. This programme was a great introduction for many carers to access information and upskill. Dormant Accounts programme 2018-2020 allowed us the opportunity to meet with a large number of carers and get an understanding for the challenges they face on a daily basis. For many carers it was the opportunity to network with other carers and access even the simplest of workshops which sometimes gives them more than undertaking a more intensive generic accredited course.

Member of the Duhallow Carers Group, Nora O’Halloran and her son Dan enjoying the sunshine

delighted to launch the Duhallow carers Dormant Accounts Programme 2021-2022, which has a particular focus on improving employment and self-employment opportunities for carers. An array of training opportunities were delivered including bespoke Personal Development focusing on self-awareness, self-esteem and self-efficacy as well as career planning advice and supports in relation to CV and Interview preparation. Other workshops advertised on our website, social media channels, newsletter and Discover Duhallow magazine included yoga, mindfulness and art therapy as well as talks and seminars on how to build resilience, stress and time management.

Ability participants enjoying ‘chair yoga’. IRD Duhallow has received funding from Cork Sports Partnership for physical activities to benefit this group.

Since the start of the COVID 19 crisis the lives of carers have, like all other families, been turned upside down. Since the lock down began to lift we have been able to hold our group meetings again and this has a lifeline for all the carers where they have been able to meet each other and take time for themselves. Even during the lockdown our Whatsapp group for the carers helped them through the difficult days also. If COVID 19 has shown us anything it is how important such networks and supports are to help look after the carers wellbeing and tackle isolation and loneliness.

Nicole Ferris preparing a laptop for loan to a college student. IRD Duhallow purchased a number of laptops which were lent to individuals who may have not had access to their own computers.

In the light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Family and Voluntary Carers have faced a particularly challenging time and the peer support among carers in a non-judgemental therapeutic space cannot be underestimated. As part of National Carers Week, IRD Duhallow was

The Canon O’Donovan Day Care Centre received a grant for funding under LEADER 14-20 under the Social Inclusion measure.

Members of Duhallow Carers group with IRD Duhallow Development Officer Stephanie Moynihan launching the Dorman Accounts Programme 2021-2022

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Saoi Network - Duhallow Actively Retired Groups The Saoi Network consists of 21 active retirement groups spread throughout the Duhallow region. The network concentrates its efforts on improving the quality of life of older people in the region through increased service provision and supports targeting older people as well as ensuring that people have social outlets and activities to meet others. However, COVID has been problematic, as with senior citizens being amongst the most medically vulnerable many of the groups have not had the opportunity to reconvene since March 2020. With the support of SICAP a series of articles on staying active for seniors was published in the Discover Duhallow magazine, as it was found that people were missing their weekly exercises and activities that were held at their active retirement club.

fulfilment; in a progressively isolated and digitally betrothed world which has been further exasperated by COVID-19, we need real connections now more than ever. Our connections to one another are what bind us together, yet for older people and adults with disabilities these connections disappear. As a society we often do not rise to the challenge of helping older adults as best we can, frequently their contributions and Monica Kennedy who volunteers her time perspectives are not valued anymore. to the Friendly Phonecall Service. Monica Loneliness and social isolation are two has said the people she calls are “lovely significant health outcomes among people to chat with and they so appreciate the call which makes it so older adults and those with worthwhile.” disabilities. Loneliness has a major impact on our health and well-being, especially in older adults. Loneliness can not only make people feel sad and isolated but it can lead to medical issues such as depression, heart disease and cognitive decline which can all lead to premature death. IRD Duhallow’s Friendly Phone Call Service has been in operation for 10 years and provides companionship to people over the phone. It offers confidentiality and total respect for where the person is at in a nonjudgemental manner. The hours are flexible and people can get as many phone calls in the week as they need. The Friendly Phone Call Service can act as an introduction to IRD Duhallow and as time goes on people often avail of other services such as the Laundry, Meals on Wheels or Revamp. Bridget Keating, RSS, and the team of volunteers under the Community Services Team Leader Helen O’Sullivan, look forward to making the calls each week and listening to peoples stories and chat. It is a way for the people they are calling to take their mind off the pandemic and other stressful daily tasks they may be facing.

Tureencahill Active Retired kept busy during lockdowns by knitting Cannula Sleeves for people suffering from Dementia.

Some groups have managed to successfully take the plunge into the online world of zoom and Microsoft teams. Tir na nOg club in Kilbrin has successfully delivered online Occupational Therapy, Art and Yoga classes, whilst the Tureencahill club has resumed their singing online through zoom along with Art classes and flower arranging demonstrations.

Phillipa Jane Farley from Pro Privacy delivered a seminar on GDPR for Community Organisations in conjunction with members of the Saoi Network.

Understanding GDPR for Community Organisations With the support of the HSE, the Saoi Network delivered a seminar on GDPR with Philipa Jane Farley of Pro Privacy. GDPR is a frightening topic for most community organisations and this seminar aimed to demystify what a community organisation can and cannot do within the confines of data protection legislation.

Senior Alert Scheme (SAS) The Senior Alert Scheme funds the provision of socially monitored alarms to householders over 66 years of age and IRD Duhallow are one of a number of registered with Pobal to deliver this scheme. Qualifying householders receive a free alarm and pendant which can be worn around the wrist or neck. When pressed it connects wirelessly to a base unit which is linked to your landline or mobile phone. This base unit immediately sends a call to a 24-hour monitoring centre. The equipment is supplied and installed free of charge along with one year’s free monitoring. After one year, the householder must pay the monitoring fee ranging from €65 to €137. In 2020, over 181 applications were approved by Pobal and the alarms were installed by Tunstall Emergency Response. We continue to promote this service through the SAOI Network, Duhallow Revamp, Duhallow Community Laundry, DCFS and the Community Care group.

Friendly Phone Call Service Humans are innately social beings; we are cognitively, biologically, physically and spiritually made to belong. The relationships we have with others is directly linked to happiness and

Mayor of Kerry Cllr Fionnan Fitzgerald, with Minister of Community Development Joe O’Brien, Eugene O’Connell and IRD Duhallow’s Nollaig Murphy launching Eugene’s book ‘The Man Who Died Twice – Unearthing Eoghan Rua,’ which was supported by the Saoi Network and funded by SICAP.

Through the friendly phone call service, a gap was identified as people expressed their difficulties getting to and from their GP for a vaccine and a transport service was commenced. Pictured here is Edna Hanley and Tom Cambridge of IRD Duhallow on the way to a vaccine clinic.

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Community Food Initative The Community Food Initiatives (CFI) 2019-2021 is funded by safefood, administered at a local level by SECAD Partnership and IRD Duhallow is one of 14 initiatives receiving funding; the aim of the CFI programme is to positively influence the eating habits of families with children in low-income communities. One in ten households in Ireland are experiencing food poverty. Food poverty is multifaceted issue encompassing economic, cultural and social inequalities leading to poor nutrition. Much of the cheapest, processed food on the market is high safefood Ireland Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) healthy food in saturated fats, sugars and salt and basket costs. healthy food comes at a higher cost; therefore, it is one of the main contributing factors in people’s lack of ability to access a healthy diet. Other barriers include limited household budgets and the lack of local shops stocking a suitable range of healthy foods. Lack of information on healthy eating, low literacy levels and food skills also contribute to an insufficient and unhealthy diet. The community initiatives support the development of skills and knowledge around: Food The Creedon family participating in one of the IRD Duhallow Remote Cookery and healthy eating, healthier shopping Programmes. and cooking skills.

utilities are not. The continuous rising household costs means that more and more families are experiencing food poverty as they are forced to choose the low cost, processed and high calorie foods with little nutritional value. According to St Vincent De Paul 1 in 3 calls are now in relation to food poverty. Through our two Remote Cookery Programmes we supported and enabled families, with at least one child between the ages of 2 and 12, with healthy cooking skills using a variety of recipes from safefood 101 Square Meals and from the safefood website. IRD Duhallow shopped for and prepared the ingredients, printed recipe and delivered these to the families in the Duhallow region once a week for 4 weeks. We also provided families with a copy of safefood 101 Square Meals, portion plates, infographics, food pyramid and lunchbox leaflets. Orlaith Tomkins, Manager of Duhallow Community Food Services, prepared step by step videos for the families to follow with Tadhg Curtin, RSS Participant, recording and editing these. Weekly check-ins and phone/email/Whatsapp support was provided to families. Families cooked 3 recipes a week for the 4 weeks. IRD Duhallow engaged the services of Nutritionist Laura O Reilly to facilitate a Webinar on How Food Affects Children’s Mood. Participants learned about the relationship between food, mood and energy, the foods which negatively affect children’s mood and healthier alternatives to common treats and snacks.

According to a report published by safefood Ireland, on the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice’s ongoing Minimum Essential Standard of Living (MESL) research, low income families need to spend about a third of their income to afford a basic healthy food basket and there are higher costs associated with rural households due to poor service provision in rural and deprived areas. The MESL Healthy Food Basket includes allocations for occasional ‘café, take-away, etc.’, and to provide for extra visitors. These Sheila Lane preparing vegetables for the allocations ensure that the social and cooking demonstrations as part of the IRD cultural aspects of food are reflected, Duhallow Remote Cookery Programme. and that households can participate in activities that are considered to be part of everyday life. The social and cultural aspects of food are important for all types of households, however, it is vital for single individual household types. IRD Duhallow helps families make healthy food choices, learn about preparing fresh food and create healthy rituals around the consumption of food ultimately bringing families together to lead happier lives. Low income families often cut back on and sacrifice food when times are tough as it is controllable whereas mortgage/rent, childcare, education and

Brighid Ide Walsh and Orlaith Tomkins discussing menus as part of the Summer Sizzler programme.

Our Community Event, which was open to all, focused on healthy lifestyle changes and healthy eating. Information was available for the public in regards to reading and understanding food labels, healthy shopping tips and healthier meals and lunchbox ideas, there were also handouts available for participants to retain for their own records. The Marie Keating foundation were also there on the day providing facts about cancer types, risk factors, signs and symptoms as well as advice on how to reduce your risk of developing different types of cancer.

Tommy Culloty and Donal O’Brien prepping the Summer Sizzler food boxes that were collected by participating families.

Ciarán Murphy preparing his Summer Sizzler meal.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Equality For Women & Childcare employment and improved social skills as well as supporting women’s advancement into decision making roles. The forum also aims to identify, acknowledge and celebrate the role of women in Duhallow. The forum is committed to enhancing the capacity of locally based community groups to promote female participation. The forum is affiliated to the National Women’s Council of Ireland, which is an umbrella organisation for women’s groups in Ireland. This allows the Forum to link in and work with the NWCI in determining its core priorities and be involved in decision-making levels at local, national and international level. International Women’s Day:

Founding member of the Duhallow’s Women Forum and IRD Duhallow Board member Judy O’Leary in conversation with Nollaig Murphy and Stephanie Moynihan of IRD Duhallow in relation to current project updates.

Within the period 2020 – 2021, the Women and Childcare Working Group continued their efforts to identify issues and progress positive developments on behalf of the women of Duhallow. The COVID-19 crisis has been described as “gender regressive” from the point of view of women by some commentators. In March 2021 the Dublin based National Economic and Social Council highlighted that women were more affected by the need to provide extra care in the home due to the closure of childcare, along with widespread shutting of schools, and services for vulnerable adults and children. The same paper highlighted an increase in domestic violence as a negative impact of the pandemic. It is the experience of the Women and Childcare Working Group that women face a myriad of disadvantage on a regular basis. Issues reported include difficulties in accessing educational opportunities, flexible employment, childcare and rural transport, with some women experiencing a multitude of areas of disadvantage. These combined put women at a greater risk of poverty and social exclusion as well as resulting in having an impact on mental health. These issues have been further compounded over the last number of months by the COVID-19 pandemic with women reporting that they feel their opportunities have been curtailed by the additional pressures of dealing with the pandemic on a daily basis.

Ms. Maura Walsh CEO IRD Duhallow marks International Women’s Day.

In March 2021 IRD Duhallow marked International Women’s Day and showed women everywhere its support by advocating that we can all choose to challenge, and call out gender bias and inequality. The achievements of women and how far they have come in their fight for their rights within the political, social and cultural spheres were celebrated throughout IRD Duhallow’s social media pages and print media in March. These features all highlighting that everyone can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements and that we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change so let’s all choose to change.

The Women and Childcare Working Group are cognisant that if disadvantaged women in particular are to achieve equality in the labour market it is essential to significantly address barriers to their progression and participation. A number of key initiatives have been put in place by the working group which have focused on supporting women’s aspirations in their career choices through focusing on crucial factors such as personal development, self-esteem and assertiveness.

Under its Supporting Disadvantaged Children and Families SICAP remit, IRD Duhallow facilitated two parenting support webinars delivered by Deirdre Holland Hannon, Behavioural Specialist.

Ms. Anna Maria Bourke Board Member IRD Duhallow celebrates International Women’s Day.

Self Defence Classes for Women: The issue of women’s safety is of paramount importance to the Duhallow Women’s Forum. Violent incidents are well documented as having lasting and enduring implications for victims. The shocking psychological and health impacts of a physical attack can include fear, depression, sleeping disorders, anxiety, low self-esteem and post-traumatic stress disorder. All of these symptoms can take a heavy toll on a person’s capacity to function in the aftermath of an incident or series of incidents. Based on the premise that knowledge is empowering, in 2021 a series of self-defence classes were organised on line with a view to helping women who may not be aware of how to protect themselves in potentially unsafe situations. Aimed at developing confidence, the training had significant physical and mental health benefits for those who participated. Funded through the IRD Duhallow’s SICAP Programme the self-defence techniques delivered at this training are important life skills which will be of longterm value for all those who were in attendance.

Duhallow Women’s Forum Duhallow Women’s Forum, established in 1997, represents a network of 17 women’s groups in Duhallow. It plays an important role in improving women’s quality of life in Duhallow including improving women’s access to education, training and personal development supports in preparation for accessing better quality employment, self –

Baby Led Weaning: Given the pace of growth that occurs in early childhood the fundamental importance of good childhood nutrition cannot be overstated. It was with this in mind that the Women and Childcare Working Group initiated a baby led weaning seminar in 2021. Funded through the IRD Duhallow SICAP Programme this seminar was based on the premise that a variety of key nutrients are critical in early childhood. The workshop which was

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Equality For Women & Childcare designed on the principle that simple and healthy homemade food for a child are also sufficient for a baby’s needs. It is hoped that the outcomes from this project will be of support to parents going forward by saving them time in the kitchen and enabling them to serve healthy homemade food every day. Online Baby Reflexology and Massage Classes Baby reflexology is a simple and effective way to aid sleep and digestion, it is naturally calming and it improves babies and parents overall wellbeing. There are many benefits for both babies and parents; interaction and bonding, relaxation, relief from certain pains and ailments and it is stimulating. IRD Duhallow organised a 6-week online Baby Reflexology and Massage classes with Blarney Wellness Centre. Parents learned the techniques of reflexology, massage and acupressure which promotes the natural bond between parent and child.

Through its SICAP programme IRD Duhallow was delighted to welcome Ms. Siobhán Berry of Mummy Cooks to give an informative presentation on childhood nutrition.

The Women’s Forum promotes female entrepreneurship. IRD Duhallow is proud to support women in business. Pictured here is Janet Burke of Valley View Equestrian Centre signing a contract for LEADER funding with LAG Chairman Cllr Bernard Moynihan and Louise Bourke and Maura Walsh of IRD Duhallow.

North Cork Childcare Managers Network Our network for managers of community childcare facilities across North Cork and East Kerry has in the last 6 years facilitated the sharing of information, expertise and networking amongst its members. Through the Network, managers have been able to avail of training opportunities, workshops and a wealth of expertise and knowledge sharing which has helped to position them much better in running their services. 2020 has without doubt been a very difficult year for the childcare sector. Overnight services were forced to close down over COVID 19 restrictions in February 2020 and started to reopen in August 2020 to provide childcare to essential workers in newly designated ‘play pods’. These new restrictions in childcare settings were undoubtedly challenging and

difficult to put in place but the years of experience by both management and staff made it achievable in a practical and safe way. The sector was undoubtedly fortunate that the DCYA financially supported them with the Temporary Wage Subsidy scheme which helped to ensure that staff were retained in the sector. Facilities are now back up and running fully and are experts in running pods safely and recording movements in the service for future contract tracing. The downside since Covid has meant that staffing is even a bigger issue as the introduction of pods means more staff are required. Staffing has always been an issue for this sector and managers are reporting it is even more difficult now to obtain suitable staff with a severe lack of choice out there in who they can recruit.

Joanne O’Connor delighted to be participating in the recent SICAP funded Confident Online Communications workshop. This one-hour Masterclass was delivered by the National Academy of Dramatic Art at Trinity College and focussed on what can be done to increase the impact made when communicating online via video conferencing platformsapplying both Verbal & Non-Verbal communication techniques to help to become better online communicators.

Members of the North Cork Childcare Network. This network was established by IRD Duhallow and has continued to meet online to discuss how best to mitigate the impact of COVID in childcare settings.

33

This constant worry in the sector is evident nationally and needs to be addressed quickly. Since last year our network has continued to meet virtually. The managers have appreciated the opportunity to catch up with their counterparts to bounce ideas off them and learn from each other.


2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Disability and Mental Health Community Inclusion Mental health impacts of COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health emergency, the scale, speed and nature of which is beyond anything most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. The mental health burden associated with this pandemic is also likely to surpass anything we have previously experienced. Lockdowns, physical distancing, protective mandatory measures combined with fear of contracting the virus, permanent and temporary job losses, relationship struggles, loneliness, boredom, and lifestyle changes (e.g. working from home, home schooling) have had an enormous impact on the psychosocial and economic well-being of the general population. Adapting to lifestyle changes has been particularly difficult for people with mental health conditions. Isolation, stress and financial strain are associated with adverse mental health outcomes.

Forest Bathing

A&B Participants of the Forest Bathing course in the Island Wood Newmarket which was led by Kerry Walker of the Nature Hub.

Looking for outdoor activities given the covid restrictions, the equality working group came across the work of the Nature Hub, and its founder Kerry Walker, who is a trained Forest Bathing Therapist. Forest Bathing, also known as “Shinrin-Yoku,” refers to the practice of spending time in nature for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness. The practice follows the general principle that it is beneficial to spend time bathing in the atmosphere of the forest. The Japanese words translate into English as “Forest Bathing.” Forest Bathing walks are gentle guided walks that enhance wellbeing through sensory connection in nature. There is a strong evidence base supporting these walks. Forest Bathing or Shinrin-Yoku walks have been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve mood, boost the immune system and improve sleep. In May, Duhallow’s first forest bathing walk was held in the Island Woods. Participants were encouraged to slow down and connect with their senses through various different invitations. Afterwards there was a tea gathering amongst the bluebells. The event proved extremely popular with further workshops planned in the future.

IRD Duhallow’s Towards Occupation Programme IRD Duhallow is in a unique position through its strong links and “connectedness” with communities to provide leadership and promote mental health and emotional wellbeing utilising an integrated approach. The Towards Occupation Programme is a free, confidential community based training initiative designed to support those who are unemployed as a result of mental ill Barry Clarke, TO participant reviewing his health to develop the skills and Personal Action Plan as part of IRD Duhallow’s Job Centre with Development confidence to move into Officer Stephanie Moynihan. employment, education, training, voluntary work or other directions.

IRD Duhallow’s Emotional Support & Counselling Service

TO Participants enjoying their activity session as part of the 8 week course “Promoting Resilience through the COVID-19 pandemic”

The part-time modular and flexible programme is delivered in the James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket and includes training opportunities in the areas of: Life Skills, Career Guidance, Craft Skills – Sewing and Upholstery, Horticulture and Cookery. The programme helps participants identify and develop their employment and educational goals in a positive and supportive environment. The programme includes skills training, employment planning, support and follow-up services. The recovery oriented programme encourages participants to adopt a healthier lifestyle and to widen their social networks. The person centered approach aims to provide each participant with the tools to set personal goals, learn coping skills and become more employable.

Counsellor Aoife Douglas and ICHAS Masters student Declan Sheehan who provide “Walk and Talk” counselling sessions as part of IRD Duhallow’s Emotional Support Service

This confidential, non-judgemental voluntary service was set up in April 2014 to offer an Emotional Support & Counselling service in the community for those who cannot afford to pay. The service currently has five voluntary Counsellors/Psychotherapists (made up of student and preaccredited therapists) who offer one-to-one emotional support & Counselling/Psychotherapy to anyone over the age of 18 affected by mental ill health. To date the service has provided one-to-one counselling to approximately 70 individuals within the community. The number of combined client hours (sessions) is in excess of 1000 hours. In addition emotional support and information about alternative supports is being provided to those who cannot attend the service for reasons such as age, need, suitability and availability. The service has been adapted to offer the service by alternative means (other than traditional inperson sessions) in order to ensure a safe environment for clients and therapists to receive and provide the Towards Occupation participants receiving their service throughout the certificate of achievement for successfully completing pandemic.

Brian Casey and Denis Keane attending a weekly session of the Towards Occupation Programme having had a long break during the Covid 19 restrictions.

an 8 week Wellbeing Training Course

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Ability Programme We are in the final year of our 3year Ability Programme where we have supported young people with disabilities across a wide spectrum aged 15-29 to bring them closer to the Labour Market. We were due to finish in IRD Duhallow received an Arts and Crafts grant for June 2021 but we received an the Ability group through Ireland Funds- part of extension of 2 months due to this was used for building, painting and decorating bird boxes. the restraints of Covid-19. This will allow us to continue to support participants and to focus on work placement.

Social Day Trips The group enjoyed a Christmas day trip to Tralee where they participated very well as a group which was key in developing their social skills, Ailbe Coffey, The Wellness Circle, Caroline Jones, independence and Joe Collins, Shauna Quinlan, Jamie O Donoghue, assertiveness. The next day trip Kevin O Connor, Hayleigh Naughton, Killian Buckley, Bríghid-Íde Walsh and Jackie Kelly, IRD is to Smugglers Cove in Duhallow, Andrew Lavery and Tim Twomey Rosscarbery in August. Social enjoyed a Christmas trip to Ballyseedy Garden inclusion programmes such as Centre for lunch followed by a trip to the Cinema. the Ability Programme allow individuals to feel a sense of belonging and to make choices. It helps to identify the unique needs of the person, focusing on their strengths and abilities.

With the success of this programme we have applied for a new 16 month programme through Dormant Account funding for September 2021. We recognised the hugely positive impact that this program has had on individual’s Ability group took part in a steps challenge and health and wellbeing which is completed over 1.7 million steps between them in why we are determined to 28 days. Cork Sports Partnership provided pedometers for the group to track their steps. continue to support them into employment and help break down the barriers.

Group Project The group are currently producing a video where they are interviewing public figures in the area. Some interviewees include; Eddie Dunbar, Aidan Walsh, Deirdre O Reilly, Tony Buckley, Michelle Finn, Michael Moynihan TD, Michael Winters & Maura Walsh. This experience for the group Walking along the new Gallops funded through has increased their confidence LEADER with Kevin O Connor interviewing Michael in public speaking, IT skills and Winters as part of the group interview project. project skills and it has showcased their talents and abilities for future work and community roles. Participation in meaningful social activities has been demonstrated to have a significant positive impact on Young People.

IRD Duhallow as lead partner, supported 81 young people with Ballyhoura Development and SECAD to deliver the Ability programme across Cork, Kerry and Limerick. These persons The Ability Group were delighted to receive their centered supports enabled new jackets. Young People to make informed choices about how they want to live their life, at present and in the future. The programme has been key in helping the participants to develop skills to enhance their independence, build their self-confidence and in supporting greater engagement in community life. We work closely with a number of referral agencies including St. Joseph’s Foundation, HSE Mental Health Services and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The Ability Programme provided funding to 27 local, regional and national projects in the Republic of Ireland. Nationally, the Ability Programme has supported 1505 Young People with a Disability, 2574 families and 977 employers.

Engagement with Families It became evident during the delivery of the programme and in particular during the pandemic that additional supports were required by parents of participants who themselves were really struggling. We organised an online wellness session for parents, this was a huge learning process for all concerned and extremely well received. Engagement with Local Employers The Ability programme aimed to help Young People to gain the skills, competencies and experiences needed to be career ready. It has directly addressed the barriers faced by Young People with Disabilities, trying to access the labour market They were supported to make informed choices about their future careers and to seek work placements. Over the last 3 years the programme participants have been supported with work placements through Duhallow Furniture REVAMP, a local clothes shop, accounts/administration, delivery services, food & catering, retail services, hotel and Leisure Club.

Response to Covid-19 With the COVID-19 outbreak we adapted our learner engagement from traditional learning environments to a greater use of digital technologies and remote learning. We had 15 young adults this year including some of year 1 & 2 participants. Families and individuals were greatly impacted so we maintained learning continuity to support all participants. We designed an interactive classroom integrating onsite learning and online via Zoom for virtual Classroom interactions. This worked very well and we are able to carry out most activities with both groups to ensure all complex needs of all learners were addressed. Education & Training A broad range of courses have been delivered this year including: • Cookery, money management, teamwork. • Social and Personal Development which included confidence building, community involvement, assertiveness, public speaking, relationship building • Career Preparation; interview skills, CV’s • Vocational Assessments • Art & Craft • Sport, Exercise, Nutrition & Healthy Eating • Drama, Bird Box Creating, QQL Level 3 Sign Language course, First Aid, Manual Handling, Online Road and Water Safety

Caroline Jones showcasing her knitting work.

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Youth and Education The Youth & Education working group was established in 2003 to promote social, inclusive, personal and education development of young people in Duhallow. It has extensive representation from all relevant youth bodies including Primary and Secondary Schools, Youth Clubs, Youth Organisations and An Garda Siochana.

The Duhallow Youth Feasibility Report is a comprehensive study of the views of young people aged 16-35 in the Duhallow / Lee Valley area.

communications skills, increases self-esteem, builds literacy skills,

Youth Feasibility Study The Youth feasibility study is a LEADER funded, comprehensive examination of the youth and family supports in the Duhallow and Mid Cork area. The report is due to be launched by Minister for Education Norma Foley T.D. in July, it presents one of the most extensive and in-depth sets of studies undertaken among young people in rural Ireland. It represents a significant body of evidence that can serve to inform decision-making and modes of development, not just in Duhallow and the Lee Valley, but in most of rural Europe.

Freemount Youth Space was created with the support of LEADER funding to provide a safe, inclusive space for children and teenagers in the region.

encourages critical thinking, inspires a growth mind-set, teaches children to speak from the heart and gives them a platform to express their thoughts, ideas and feelings. Public speaking is now a form of assessment at Secondary School level and is vital in the working world- conquering this skill early in life gives children a great grounding for future years.

This piece of research involved a comprehensive needs analysis within the region and was undertaken by Dr. Brendan O’Keeffe and Dr. Noreen O’Mahony who conducted two surveys amongst young people aged 1635 within the region.

IRD Duhallow organised the 13th annual Public Speaking event for Primary Schools children across Duhallow. The event took on a changed format due to COVID-19 and the workshops were delivered online. The tutor was Siobhán Keenan Fitzgerald who is a National School Principal, as well as an entrepreneur, Dragons’ Den contestant and TEDx Speaker. She developed the LET's Stand (L-Listen, E-Evaluate, T-Talk, S-Stand) Public Speaking Programme curriculum for Primary School children that engages all students actively in an individualised child-centred programme, developing their listening, evaluation and speaking skills in a structured way.

The findings of the survey will allow for the development of future plans and funding applications, particularly in relation to the next LEADER programme 2021-2025. Literacy Support Programme The IRD Duhallow literacy support programme offers targeted supports to children with Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Funded through SICAP there are two strands: TTRS (Touch Type Read and Spell) and Literacy Workshops. TTRS is an awardwinning, multi-sensory course that teaches typing, reading and spelling. The content follows word lists from Children were given their TTRS online logins ‘Alpha to Omega’ which is a dyslexia and encouraged to continue to practice friendly approach to spelling devised their TTRS during COVID lockdowns. by Orton Gillingham. During lockdowns, the children were sent their passwords and encouraged to login at home to continue their work.

Over the course of three weekend workshops a safe, supportive environment was created in which all students are enabled, encouraged and empowered to achieve their potential. The closing event saw students from the Cullen, Rathmore, Boherbue and Newmarket areas give inspiring talks on topics that were of importance to them. Parents and teachers heard inspiring presentations on topics such as family history, the value of having pets, cyberbullying and a broad spectrum of other interesting topics.

The literacy workshops consist of small groups of students who undertake specialised classes with teachers focusing on reading, writing, spelling, memory work and sequencing. In addition to this a number of Parent / Teacher support clinics are held throughout the year to give guidance to parents as to how best promote their child’s learning in the home environment. Freemount Youth Space Through LEADER a “Youth Space” was developed within Freemount Community Centre. This space acts as a safe environment for young people, and is open during the week. The Community Centre acts as a central hub for the village of Freemount and this drop in centre is primely located, adjacent to the Heritage Centre, Walk, GAA Pitch and other village amenities.

The children of Newmarket Afterchools enjoying outdoor activities on the hills in the Pitch and Putt on the grounds of the James O Keeffe Institute.

AgriKids According to the Health and Safety Authority farming is the most dangerous occupation in Ireland. On average between 2006 and 2015, 3 children and 18 adults were killed in farm accidents every year. The main causes of fatal accidents are by tractor/machinery, contact with farm machinery and drowning. For this reason, IRD Duhallow organised online

Public Speaking Public speaking is one of the most important, yet dreaded forms of communication. Public speaking helps children improve their

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Youth and Education Technology, Social Media and Family Life Webinar The prevalence of technology on a macro and micro level in the modern world cannot be overstated. Throughout every aspect of our lives we are faced with the complexities and necessities of technological solutions and interventions in relation to communication, learning and recreation. For the younger generations upcoming this has become a way of life. High levels of screen time has the potential to create social disconnection within families, whereby children become increasingly disassociated from their families and increasingly attached to online gaming, and in some cases chatting online. Technology and screens now dominate family life and this is especially the case since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this talk, Professor John Sharry presented practical principles for establishing healthy family habits around using technology in the home. Adolescent Anxiety Management – A Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Parents Programme Parents are the primary teachers and nurturers- this programme aimed to equip parents with the knowledge to understand the importance of their children’s well-being. Positive well-being is critical to ensuring children reach their potential, grow and sustain meaningful social relationships, care for themselves, learn effectively and contribute to society. IRD Duhallow Youth and Education working group received funding from Tusla to run the Adolescent Anxiety Management Programme. Facilitated by Noreen Horan, Clinical Psychologist, and Kay O’ Sullivan, Mental Health Nurse and CBT Therapist, this interactive, educational 2-week online programme used a very practical Cognitive Behavioural Therapeutic (CBT) approach to help parents support their adolescents in managing their anxieties.

Freemount Youth Space was created with the support of LEADER funding to provide a safe, inclusive space for children and teenagers in the region.

training with AgriKids for the schools in the greater Duhallow and Mid Cork regions with 30 schools participating. AgriKids positively engages, educates and empowers children to become Farm Safety Ambassadors. This engaging approach to farm safety education will serve to continually empower children to be safer farmers in the future and as the approach also requires and includes the input of parents and guardians, children are sharing the learning outcomes with all.

Mini First Aid Course for Kids First aid training is a vital life skill and provides children with the knowledge base for dealing with medical emergencies they may be faced with. IRD Duhallow held a Mini First Aid Course for Kids aged between 8-11 also organised two days in Shrone National School. In the 3 ½ hour session, children learned to deal with bumps, burns, breaks and bleeding, carry out CPR and deal with choking. The class was practical, with lots of fun and involved lots of activities for the children to enjoy.

The children of Newmarket Afterschools had noticed a very tired bee in the grass that was struggling to fly so they offered it some sugary water to help revive it; here is Molly Fitzgerald, Orlaith Cahill, Sophie Sheehan, Danny Fitzgerald, Ruby Fleming and Isla Hughes observing the bee.

Empowering Parents Webinar IRD Duhallow Youth and Education Working Group organised an Empowering Parents Webinar to address the current emerging needs of families to survive the stress attached to the Covid-19 crisis. The webinar was facilitated by Deirdre Holland Hannon; a mom of two and Behaviour Specialist. The training supported parents to understand that children are unique individuals who express their feelings and emotions through their behaviour. Deirdre took parents through the Empowering Parents Approach to nurturing positive behaviour by using tried and tested techniques such as: Wipe the Slate Clean Approach, managing and reacting to strong emotions, a Positive Approach to unwanted behaviour and tools to support feelings of unpredictability and uncertainty.

Rhys Cummins who was a participant of the Kids First Aid programme.

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Employment and Training The COVID-19 crisis has continued to have a significant impact on the labour market in Duhallow and right across the country over the last year. IRD Duhallow Employment and Training Service has continued to provide support in Employment, Training and Educational opportunities around the Duhallow area during the pandemic. The global pandemic has had a significant impact on workers over the last year and there is a high unemployment rate in the area. While the standard measure of Monthly Unemployment was 5.8% in April 2021, the COVID-19 Adjusted Measure of Unemployment could indicate a rate as high as 22.4% if all claimants of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) were classified as unemployed. This alternative measure is down from 23.8% in March 2021 and from 30.5% in April 2020. As we have seen an increase in the number of people registering to our IRD Duhallow Job Centre we have organised a range of initiatives with the aim of supporting people who are both short and long term unemployed, to secure and sustain full time paid employment. Stephanie Moynihan & Jackie Kelly of IRD Duhallow conducting a mock interview with Emma Mueller practising interview skills and techniques

Adult and Second Chance Education Bursaries IRD Duhallow Employment and Training Working Group has allocated a number of grants to individuals to facilitate access and entry to further and higherlevel education. IRD Duhallow is cognisant that the contribution which education can make to social and economic change and to enhancing the everyday lives of adults cannot be overstated. It is clear that rural dwellers face many barriers when trying access to higher education such as poor Maria Brennan pleased to be receiving a Bursary broadband infrastructure, the for her studies in General Nursing in University infrequency of public transport College Cork funded through IRD Duhallow’s SICAP programme and of course the financial constraints that people face. In the last year, 6 individuals have received funding from this measure under our SICAP programme. The availability of these bursaries has allowed these individuals to continue their education and become trained in various disciplines including: 1. Masters of Education Programme in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick 2. Level 5 Animal Care, Mallow College 3. QQI Level 5 Early Childhood Education 4. General Nursing Course at UCC 5. Business Studies Level 5 6. Year 2 BMBS programme at the University of Limerick, School of Medicine

reason, the Job Centre assists employers with recruiting and promoting the best people to serve the current and future employment needs. During the pandemic remote support and guidance was provided for individuals on applying for vacant positions and advice was also provided to individuals on for those wishing to upskill. Community Education and Lifelong Learning IRD Duhallow strongly embraces the opportunity to support the most educationally disadvantaged and those at risk of experiencing social exclusion through an array of targeted community education initiatives. In a year like no other, IRD Duhallow successfully pivoted lifelong learning offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic bringing most of the courses and workshop offerings online. This aimed to equip learners with new skills, boosting their confidence and career progression opportunities promoting social inclusion. Over 100 individuals in the last year have been supported through SICAP Goal 2 – providing lifelong learning opportunities through a range of different programmes including: Personal Development, First Aid, Managing Childhood anxiety, basic Irish Sign Language, QQL Level 3 Sign Language, Anger Management workshops, Introduction to Feng Shui, Self Defence classes for women, Kids basic first aid, baby reflexology, gardening on a budget, Confident online communication, backyard astronomy, Introduction to journaling and vision boards and a kitchen cupboard spa workshop, to name but a few of the programmes delivered. The continuous demand for these courses show their need in the area and the positive feedback received from participants following their workshop/training course is a reinforcement for how community education and lifelong learning contributes to empowering people to develop their confidence and for promoting social inclusion.

The working group is aware that bursaries are a crucial way of facilitating access and entry to further education and training opportunities and ultimately help to improve the circumstances of those who receive them. Job Centre IRD Duhallow’s Job Centre has continued to provide a range of services and supports to both Jobseekers and Employers in the region throughout the last year and the coordinators have adapted to restrictions during the year by providing a person centred approach both online and in person where needed. With higher levels of unemployment evident in the region due to COVID-19 these services were more important than ever to assist individuals with CV’s, job application forms, mock interviews and online interviews, which have been new to people. Online interview skills and Career advice workshops were organised to support people to seek employment. The Job centre coordinators have actively worked with local employers in the area to help them find the right candidate for positions in the area and recognise the fact that recruitment, upskilling and maintaining staff can take up more and more time for employers. For this

Rachel Twomey, Aaron O’Callaghan, Josh O’Keeffe, Hugh O’Connor and Nicole Ferris delighted to be completing their student placements with IRD Duhallow.

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Employment and Training

Recognition of Learning

Labour Market Activation The proportion of people not working due to inactivity (having the capacity to work but having left the labour market and no longer seeking work) is comparatively higher than other EU and OECD countries. With COVID 19, unemployment has increased even further so through our Labour Market Activation measure we aimed to provide programmes that were responsive to the needs of these individuals. We supported individuals in Duhallow to have access to relevant up-skilling supports to enable them to re-enter the workforce. We delivered different

Alex Haigh, Aoidin O Sullivan, Rhys Cummins and Saoirse Rahilly partaking in the Basic Kids First Aid Course funded through SICAP

assistance to help overcome challenges some individuals faced. A range of training has been delivered over the last year to meet the varying needs including Safe Pass Training, Forklift training, Site Dumper, 360 Excavator course and Manual Handling courses. Recognition of Learning IRD Duhallow’s Recognition of Learning Ceremony is an annual event on the calendar, celebrating the many achievements of those who have partaken in lifelong learning programmes in the James O’Keeffe Institute. However, like many other things this year, Covid restrictions meant that it could not be hosted in person, but instead certificates were awarded through an online ceremony. Thursday the 4th of March saw over 650 individuals receive certs at the event which was broadcast on IRD Duhallow’s youtube channel. This ceremony saw the first major award graduates of our LTI programme in Horticulture as well as noting the achievements of the Skillnet funded Level 7 Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care in conjunction with IT Carlow.

A practical Basic Kids First Aid course tailored towards children aged 8-11, covering bandaging, breaks, bleeding, burns, choking and CPR. Certificates received by; Katelyn Mc Carthy, Katelyn Buckley, Saoirse Rahilly, Alex Haigh, Amy O Connor, Lucy O Connor, Aoidin O Sullivan, Emily Duggan Louise Duggan, Rhys Cummins

programmes for individuals who were relatively close to the labour market and “job ready” and may need short term job specific training. We provided more intensive supports and guidance with one to one

Karen O Donoghue, Rachel O Shaughnessy, Aisling Healy & Sarah Weathers completed a Basic Sign Language course and QQL Level 3 Irish Sign Language course this year to allow them to learn how to communicate in Sign Language. Sarah wears hearing aids and is currently losing her hearing due to an illness that results in tumours growing on her central nervous system. The groups training programme was supported through SICAP. The IRD Duhallow Recognition of Learning Ceremony was held virtually this year.

Career Guidance Counsellor Niamh Dwyer delivering a SICAP funded Virtual Career Guidance for Leaving Cert students focussing on CAO Change of Mind and alternative pathways after Leaving Cert.

SOLAS Safe Pass Course with a group at the Ayrton training centre, learning the standards of safety awareness in the construction industry.

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IRD Duhallow’s Local Training Initiative IRD Duhallow’s LTI is funded by Cork Employment and Training Board and is focused on horticulture. Our LTI Is now in its sixth year, and its success is largely attributable to the extensive grounds available to the project at the James O’ Keeffe Institute. The Irish horticultural industry is an important economic sector in Ireland with an estimated farm gate value of €433m, which is the fourth highest sector in terms of gross agricultural commodity output value. In Duhallow the Local Training Initiative provides Ampai sowing seeds in the polytunnel vocational training opportunities in Horticulture, providing Level 4 and Level 5 certification leading to progression to further training, education and work in the horticultural sector.

major award. Four past students also achieved Level 5 qualifications at An tlonad Glas in Dromcollogher and at Cork Training Centre, with three progressing to Level 7 and 8 qualifications in Horticulture and Wildlife Biology. A number of past students have also found employment, with local landscaping companies, and organic food producers. Two past students have been employed by the OPW based at Muckross House in Killarney National Park. New Programme 2021 - 2022 2021 will see the commencement of a further Level 4 programme in September. This will enable new participants to gain skill and confidence in horticulture, before progressing on to employment or further training. Shane harvesting beetroot in the Kitchen Garden

Socially distanced digging

Trudi painting the newly constructed raised bed in the small tunnel

The success of the horticulture training initiative is in no small part due to the extensive grounds and training facilities at the James O’Keefe Institute and the enthusiasm and commitment of each and every person who signs up to undertake the programme, whether they are experienced gardeners or complete novices.

Colourful winter containers planted as part of the Ornamental Flowering plant module.

Working Through Covid Our new Level 4 programme started in September 2020, after a long delay due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The lockdown situation however gave many people a chance to spend time in their gardens, and develop an interest in growing their own food crops and enhancing their own environment and that of the local wildlife with a new passion for gardening.

Testimonial - Tom Daby I enrolled in the level 4 horticulture LTI course in 2016 after being on a community employment scheme for a year. Previous to this, most of my career was in the field of accounts and administration. Being on the same career path for such a long time made me feel like it was the only thing I was capable of doing. Doing the horticulture course gave Tom Daby me an opportunity to try something different while also getting a qualification. After a very successful year, I gained the confidence and the belief in myself to enrol in a level 5 horticulture course in Cork ETB. At the end of another successful year, I was left at a junction where I had to decide which way I wanted my education and hence my future career path to take me. Thinking back to the level 4 horticulture course and all I learned from my tutor about organic growing and the environment, lead me to enrol in a four year honours degree course in Environmental Science and Wildlife Biology at Munster Technological University, Tralee. I am currently at the end of my third year and doing my nine-week internship at IRD Duhallow where I am working on different EU funded environmental projects. Looking back, I know that I would never have reached this point if it wasn’t for the help and guidance that I received from my tutor all those years back.

The 7 students who commenced the new programme have had to work through Covid 19 regulations, including social distancing in the classroom, polytunnels and outside spaces, mask wearing indoors, and increased time spent on cleaning Hazel repotting the comfrey. and disinfecting tools. Their experience has undoubtedly been different to those gone before, but the level of enthusiasm and resilience that each student brings to the gardens each day has not changed. This year’s students have had to undertake 3 months of online classes and are now working very hard to complete all the practical work required to attain their qualifications. Progression Opportunities To date 41 students have successfully completed the programme at Levels 4 and 5 with 34 achieving the major award, consisting of all nine modules. 9 students successfully completed Level 5 with 8 achieving the

Tom Daby LTI 2016

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IRD Duhallow Community Employment Scheme for participants in mind. Through our Job centre, we identify the needs of local employers in order to focus training in areas where real job opportunities exist locally. The supervisor works with each participant in developing a specific training plan tailored to the abilities of each participant.

Our CE scheme has been operational for over 20 years and historically covered the communities of Ballydaly, Boherbue, Banteer, Lyre, Kilcorney and Dromtariffe as well as some specific community enterprises in Newmarket. This past year, we have been tasked with increasing our scheme to take in the communities of Kiskeam, Ballydesmond, Knocknagree and Cullen. This has seen our scheme numbers jump from 23 to 46 and we now also have an Assistant Supervisor Position. The expansion of the scheme is welcome, as it has afforded us the opportunity to integrate our services across a wider region which ensures enhanced opportunities for both participants and our communities.

Timothy Tarrant is based in Dromtariffe. One of his responsibilities is to maintain the grounds around the Community Hall.

Training and retraining is a key focus of our community employment scheme. We are fortunate to have

Our scheme assists participants in bridging the gap between longterm unemployment and the open labour market. It is characterised by offering paid work on a temporary contract, together with training, personal development and job search activities while simultaneously benefitting rural communities with access to labour to support volunteer and community led activities. The key components of the scheme are enhancing confidence and preparing long term unemployed to enter mainstream employment. Philip Casey maintaining community green areas in Knocknagree.

Our scheme offers opportunities in Caretaking, Park Assistants, Furniture Restoration, Administration, Accounts, Community Laundry, Community Kitchen, Village Tidy Towns, Insulation Operatives, Meals on Wheels, Laundry Drivers and Counter Assistant.

CE Supervisor Paddy O’Connor and IRD Duhallow CEO Maura Walsh presenting a bouquet of flowers to Sheila Fogarty on her retirement from the scheme.

access to the IRD Duhallow Skillnet training programme which runs a suite of training courses locally and online. In line with the CE regulations of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection all training courses have a QQI FETAC, City and Guilds or other Certificate qualification.

This past year has been a most challenging one for everyone, and Julia McAuliffe ensures that the Community Gym in Ballydesmond is kept and we are fortunate that our maintained to the highest of standards. participants stepped up to support our rural communities during the Covid 19 pandemic. IRD Duhallow remained fully operational during this time, with the majority of our staff and scheme participants continuing to work.

Over the past year participants took part in Manual Handling, Payroll, Driver Certificate of Professional Competency, Desktop Publishing, Interview skills, Site Dumper, Training Delivery and Evaluation, HACCP, Safe Pass courses. All of the courses undertaken by participants are certified through SOLAS, QQI or City and Guilds. This past year, four of our participants progressed onto employment.

Participant Development through Training IRD Duhallow continues to run its scheme with long term job prospects

Throughout the year many of our participants are involved in supporting the local tidy towns committees in their work. Pictured here, Catherine O’Donoghue undertaking painting work in Kiskeam.

CE Rehabilitation Scheme Many of those recovering from addiction in Duhallow find themselves facing a difficult job market. In some instances, they cannot return to the same workplace they left before they started their rehabilitation or were unemployed for a long period of time in advance of entering. A person’s capability of gaining initial employment, maintaining employment and obtaining new employment while in recovery poses a difficulty for many of those in recovery from addiction. As a result there is often a serious danger that the recovery efforts will unravel and lead to relapse. IRD Duhallow has recently been approved a CE Drug Rehabilitation scheme for the region with 7 participants and 1 Supervisor. The overall objective will be to provide opportunities for people in recovery from substance misuse to re-engage into their communities and activate them for entry to the labour market. The scheme will assist in bridging the gap between long-term unemployment and the open labour market. It is envisaged that the new scheme will empower these people who are in recovery to grow in confidence in their own employability, acquire new skills and engage more effectively with the labour market whilst also positively attributing to their mental health.

Scheme participant Bernadette O’Leary is sponsored by Cullen Community Hall. Bernadette is responsible for setting up the hall for socially distanced meetings and ensuring that the hall is sanitised and cleaned after each event.

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IRD Duhallow Rural Social Scheme IRD Duhallow manages the local delivery of the Rural Social Scheme (RSS) on behalf of the Department of Social Protection. The aim of the scheme is to provide income support for farmers who are in receipt of certain long-term Department of Social Protection payments. The other key aim is to provide certain services of benefit to rural communities by harnessing the skills and talents of RSS participants. IRD Duhallow has a quota of 60 RSS participants who undertake a broad range of communitybased work for 19.5 hours per week. Participants are assigned work based on their skillset and interests. IRD Duhallow accepts applications from host community and voluntary groups for work projects that are compatible with the objectives of the RSS.

Community Support The RSS directly facilitates a collaboration with volunteers in communities throughout Duhallow providing vital assistance for village renewal and maintenance works of community centres, sheltered housing, sports facilities, amenities etc. Furthermore, participants contribute to services that enhance the independence and participation of older people to live in dignity and Michael Lynch painting the fence of the independence in their own homes grotto in Inchigeelagh. and communities for as long as possible e.g. delivering meals through Duhallow, Community Food Service and providing a friendly phone call service for older people who aren’t in regular contact with neighbours, family or friends. This has been particularly important during the Pandemic. Those who were cocooning and using the phone call service were also made aware of the other supports and services available through IRD Duhallow including the rural meals and laundry services. Fuel, grocery shopping and prescription deliveries were also undertaken by RSS participants during this time.

Mary Kelleher hanging the beautiful flower baskets that she prepared herself at the sheltered housing in Kilcorney.

Criteria For Farmers To be eligible for the RSS the person must have an active herd or flock number from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine. A copy of the application for the EU Single Payment Scheme for the current year (which includes a valid herd number) must also be provided. They must also be in receipt of one of the following allowances from the Department of Social Protection: • • • • • •

Walks Maintenance

Farm Assist; Unemployment Assistance; Disability Allowance; One-Parent Family Payment; Widow (ers) Pension, both Contributory and Non-Contributory; Be under 66 and a Qualified Adult Dependant of a recipient of the Non-Contributory Old Age Pension;

If a child/sibling of a herd number owner and can verify that they are resident and/or working on the farm and they are getting one of the qualifying social welfare payments, they may be eligible to participate in the RSS on the basis of their parent’s/sibling’s herd number. If they are a dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of a herd number owner they can take the available place. Alternatively, if a spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting one of the qualifying social welfare payments and is actively farming, they can use your herd number to qualify for the scheme. A farmers spouse, civil partner or cohabitant can participate in the RSS, if he/she is under 66 and you are getting a State Pension (NonContributory) which includes an Increase for Qualified Adult for him or her.

Participants undertaking a chainsaw course which is necessary for many of the work requests we receive as well as providing maintenance on our many walks.

RSS participants are crucial in the maintenance and upkeep of all walking trails in Duhallow including: Claragh, Mt. Hillary, Mullaghareirk and the Source of the Blackwater Looped walks, all of which are accredited by the National Trails Office. There has been a remarkable increase in the number of people using walking trails to exercise and keep fit, while respecting the guidelines on social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis. During periods of level 5 restrictions people didn’t let the closure of gyms and classes limit their ability to exercise and used their local trails within their 5km. However, the surge in trail usage meant that there was additional maintenance works required including signage repair and cleaning, the erection of stiles, markers, fingerposts, rubbish bins, gates etc. The Department of Rural and Community Development conducted a Review of the Delivery, Funding and Strategic Development of the Walks Maurice Reidy showcasing his carpentry skills on the

Testimonial - Tadgh Curtin I was given the opportunity to come on RSS and work on the Discover Duhallow Magazine. We have a farm at home so I am able to help my parents with that as well as flex my creative skills through graphic design and media writing. I also enjoyed coordinating the filming of interviews for the Ability Group as part of one of their projects. I have had tremendous experience so far and enjoy my work. It made me realise RSS has changed over the years, it is not just one thing, it has the capacity to adapt to many different avenues in today’s landscape.

Tadhg Curtin assisting the Ability class by setting up recording equipment. Participating in RSS allows him the flexibility to keep on top of his farming jobs such as baling.

Claragh Loop/Duhallow Way walk.

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IRD Duhallow Rural Social Scheme Scheme in 2020 to assess the role and resourcing of Rural Recreation Officers (RRO) in their contribution to the delivery of the Walk Scheme and the development of the outdoor recreation sector generally. IRD Duhallow is currently managing the Walks Scheme without the resource of an RRO. Currently there is one RRO covering the entire County of Cork. A dedicated RRO is necessary to explore and harness the full potential of the natural resources and associated culture and heritage which is unique to Duhallow. COVID-19 Response

Donal Moynihan providing caretaking duties in Aubane ensuring that once restrictions are lifted, the centre will be ready to welcome everyone back.

IRD Duhallow was designated an essential service and joined a multiagency response to contribute to the community-wide efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. This ensured a coordinated response in the delivery of much needed services to vulnerable citizens across the Counties Cork and Kerry. With the support of RSS participants and their supervisors, IRD Duhallow’s essential services in the community were not only maintained but expanded to meet the new demand in our region. RSS participants all rose to the challenge of supporting the efforts of the increased demands placed on Duhallow Community Food Services, Duhallow Warmer Homes Scheme, Duhallow Care and Repair, Duhallow REVAMP and Duhallow Community

Nora Shine keeping on top of all the weeds in Rockchapel.

Community Welfare Officer. Work usually involves general clean up, painting and necessary adaptations or repairs. Referrals to the Warmer Homes Scheme have been made and the Furniture REVAMP project has been able to assist in providing furniture and other household items.

Laundry. The services and support mechanisms including door to door collections and deliveries helped people to remain well at home while cocooning. A rota system of teams including RSS participants was put in place to ensure continuity of service.

Participants fencing the Pond Field in Banteer, which was a popular walk during COVID restrictions.

Niall Burke getting his delivery ready for Duhallow Furniture Revamp.

Community Care The Community Care Committee aim to support Don Horgan grass cutting in Banteer GAA which older and more vulnerable he along with other participants throughout adults to maintain successful Duhallow maintained during the pandemic independent living reduce the ensuring once restrictions were lifted the clubs level of admissions to were ready to open to their members. hospital/residential care and increase the social reconnection of these people in their own communities. If patients are discharged to unsafe, cold, unsuitable homes,

they are more likely to return to hospital. By request of the local Public Health Nurses, housing assessments have been conducted by the RSS Supervisors. In some instances, the homes fail to meet basic standards of warmth and safety and therefore clean ups and alterations need to be made. Following the sensitive assessment of a home, recommendations are sent to the HSE and

Retirements During the past year we said a fond farewell to a number of participants who finished their time on the RSS including: Tim Enright, Gerald Duggan, Paddy Lucey, Eileen Moynihan, Dermot Murphy, Joan Murphy and Liz Walsh, all of whom worked exceptionally hard in their respective placements. We also said goodbye to Supervisor Sheila O’Keeffe who reached retirement age last year after sixteen years of service.

Before Sheila O’Keeffe retired her years of service were acknowledged by Board members Anne Maria Bourke and Mary Wallace.

In Remembrance - Morty Cashman RIP RSS participant Morty Cashman sadly passed away in January 2021. Morty joined the RSS in 2019 and was a great worker partaking in a variety of community projects during that time. He is greatly missed by his colleagues in IRD Duhallow. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Supervisor Marie Fleming going through work schedules with Gerard O’Sullivan and Denis Murphy.

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Tús Community Activation Tús is a community work placement initiative providing short-term working opportunities for people who are long-term unemployed. Tús is managed locally by IRD Duhallow on behalf of the Department of Social Protection, which has overall responsibility for the scheme. IRD Duhallow has an allocation of 60 places where participants work for 19.5 hours a week for 12 months in a variety of community based placements. Participants are randomly selected from the Live Register and offered the opportunity to participate on the scheme. If a Jobseeker who is selected to participate on Tús fails to co-operate or fails to take up the offer, they will be referred for further action and investigation. It is possible Amarachi Ogbuji working in the to seek a placement on Tús as a self-referral by Temperance Hall, Kanturk contacting the local Social Welfare branch if the person has been on the Live Register for 12 months or more and hasn’t participated on the scheme in the past 3 years.

Testimonial - Sean Donovan “After a few years of being unemployed I joined IRD Duhallow, as a Tús participant doing administrative work. I enjoyed it as it allowed me to get back into the swing of working again and I was able to put the computer skills I learned in college to use in a work environment. Thanks to the many courses that IRD Duhallow run, I was able to find full time employment within 5 months from starting on Tús. I would recommend the scheme, as it is easy to transition from the scheme to full time employment, due to the training and the experience of being in a work environment again”. The expected benefits of joining Tús are numerous including social benefits concerning an individual's success in effectively and constructively participating in social, civic and working life. Tús helps people to grow in confidence in their own employability, acquire new skills and in most cases people engage more effectively with the labour market upon their exit from the scheme. The placement provides an immersive experience for the participant to gain a greater understanding of the workplace and prepares them for the open labour market. IRD Duhallow has developed strong linkages with local employers through the Job Centre and programmes such as Skillnet, LEADER and the Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme.

To be eligible to participate on Tús a person must be: • fully unemployed and in receipt of a jobseekers payment continuously for at least 12 months (A break of up to 30 days in the past 12 months may be permitted) and • must be currently in receipt of a Jobseeker’s Allowance payment, or • must be in receipt of Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment, or • refugees aged 18 years old, authenticated by the Department of Justice & Law Reform (Garda Registrar Certificate with Stamp 4) and getting Jobseeker’s Allowance payment (no qualifying period applies). The rates of payment on Tús is linked to a person's existing Jobseeker’s Allowance with a minimum payment of €225.50 or €134.70 for a Qualified Adult. Other payments in respect of qualifying children is €38 for a child under 12 years and €45 for a child over 12. Participants are entitled to statutory annual leave during the 52 week period. All Tús payments are made by Electronic Fund Supervisor Nuala Riordan with Tús participant Transfer into bank accounts. John Sheehan maintaining the Banteer Participants can keep any Community Park. secondary benefits they had before they took up the Tús placement scheme, subject to income levels e.g. rent allowance, medical card, fuel allowance etc. They receive the same statutory (pro rata) annual leave and public holiday entitlement as other employees.

Integrated Supports IRD Duhallow’s Tús scheme aims to promote an all-inclusive activation programme which incorporates the provision of job-search assistance and training options, not designed solely to address labour market issues of those on the scheme, per se but, also informed by actions to improve the quality of life of the participants and their families where possible. A wraparound approach underpins the scheme as participation on Tús often acts as a gateway for participants and their families by improving

Kevin Crowley maintaining the Pitch and Putt in Newmarket.

Michael O’Driscoll at the Banteer Community Park.

Mohammed Hoque does the village renewal in Kiskeam.

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Tús Community Activation Pathways to Work 2021-2025 The Government’s labour market approach is about providing opportunities to reskill and upskill, minimising long-term unemployment, and supporting individuals to secure sustainable and quality employment. Pathways to Work 2021-2025 is Ireland’s national employment services strategy and overall framework for activation and employment support. It is a central focus of the Government’s response to Colman O’Riordan working in Aghabullogue. dealing with the impact of the Pandemic on workers. It supports those who are unemployed - as a result of the pandemic; pre-pandemic; and those whose former jobs are no longer available to them - to return to work through intense activation, and upskilling and reskilling through education and training initiatives. The Pathways to Work targets outlined in the Economic Recovery Plan are similar to the targets announced in the July Jobs Stimulus 2020 including 10,000 places on the new Work Placement Experience Programme; 8,000 places on Jobs Plus; and 3,000 places on State Employment Schemes.

Kerri Powell working in Ballydesmond Creche.

their access to numerous supports/services through the integrated suite of programmes operated within the local development company structures. Supervisors provide mentoring to encourage uptake and access to services/supports in real-life community settings where they can have experiences that build their confidence. This promotes a “Can Do” attitude amongst the participants and empowers them to access other locally available services and supports e.g. Warmer Homes Scheme, Bereavement Support etc. Job-search/job-matching, career guidance assistance and training opportunities are made available for participants through IRD Duhallow’s Job Centre.

Community Conservation Projects The James O’Keeffe Institute together with a number of agricultural outbuildings have been designated protected structures as they are considered to be of special interest from an architectural, historical and cultural point of view. Under the appropriate supervision and guidance of Supervisors, the attic space of the REVAMP workshop was the most recent sensitive restoration project to take place. Tús participants who were eager to learn new skills assisted in the creation of an office space, storage room, toilets and a canteen Pio O’Connell strimming a local river walk in Banteer. area for the new Kickstart project. Kickstart aims to provide work opportunities for people with a criminal conviction and support them to re-engage into their communities. All the work was carried out under the heritage guide lines.

Tommy Culloty sanitising the Afterschools.

Agricultural Vintage Machinery IRD Duhallow houses a collection of vintage agricultural machinery in a renovated out house farm building on the grounds of the James O’Keeffe Institute. A large amount of the agricultural machinery and rural Irish life artefacts have Tús Supervisor Don Murphy and participant Enda been donated to the project Carroll demonstrating repointing stone work with over the past number of lime mortar to Minister Joe O’Brien. Working with rubble stone was a new skill learnt by Enda during his years. The extensive 18th – time on the Tús programme. 20th century collection includes carts, hay turners, ploughs, threshing machines etc. As well as promoting and preserving Ireland’s rural heritage the project aims to create “hands on learning” for

Martin O’Neill working in the Pitch and Putt.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Duhallow Furniture Revamp Duhallow Revamp has been in operation since 2016 with the assistance of Community Service Programme funding for staffing requirements. We also have participants from Tus and CE as Revamp is an ideal location to develop new skills in advance of returning to mainstream employment.

COVID-19 Response In compliance with Government guidelines Duhallow Revamp operated a “Click and Deliver” or “Collect” service. During the Level 5 restriction period, REVAMP acquired and carried out essential work to furniture and mobility equipment for the local Community Hospitals and Nursing Homes. Revamp also manufactured bespoke design art class benches for a local secondary school. Protective Perspex screens were made for one of the active retired groups to facilitate their Bridge games. The Revamp facemasks are also still available for purchase.

A before and after picture of an antique dressing table repaired by our Revamp team.

The Social Enterprise has over 3700 customers to date. Revamp provides a range of in-demand services to the community and strives to promote the re-use of unwanted high quality low cost household furniture. The core philosophy is simple: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Revamp collect furniture and household goods that are suitable for re-use and carry out repairs and refurbishment work in the workshop, with steam cleaning and basic repair work adding value and usefulness to the many items that would otherwise be disposed of. The furniture is then made available for sale in the showroom located on the grounds of the James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket and open Monday to Friday 9am to 5.30pm. In addition to the wide offering of good quality second-hand furniture for sale, Duhallow Revamp provides a furniture re-upholstery, restoration and repair service as well as a collection and delivery service. A discount is also made available in an effort to further assist and entice those in receipt of social welfare, low-income households and students.

Community Reuse Network (CRNI)

As a Social Enterprise we made bespoke art desks for the Presentation Secondary School in Tralee. This was one of the steps taken by the school as part of their COVID response plan.

Full time staff member Jessica Baron sewing Revamp facemasks.

Duhallow Revamp is an active member of the Community Reuse Network of Ireland. With the assistance of the CRNI Duhallow Revamp was the first enterprise in the country to be awarded the Re-mark, Ireland’s Reuse Quality Mark of Excellence. The Re-Mark was established by the CRNI, through the EPA Green Enterprise funding, to address consumers’ concerns regarding the quality and safety of reuse goods. Membership of the CRNI has allowed the project to network with like-minded A mobility chair reupholstered by our professionals and connect to the Revamp team for Millstreet Community national reuse conversation. The Hospital. This project saved the message of reuse for social and Community Hospital thousands of Euro. environmental benefit is being heard. Linkages with the CRNI has provided meaningful connections and has helped the REVAMP to develop strong shared social responsibility and circular economy strategies that result in lower waste, lighter carbon footprints and tangible contributions to the community by simply extending the life of their furniture. The result is vastly more usable household goods ending up in homes that need it and not in landfill.

Maria Burke, Tús participant packaging Revamp masks. Early in the pandemic Revamp stepped forward to produce much needed face masks for our local Community Hospitals and Nursing Homes. We provided almost 600 masks for staff in these local care facilities

Environmental goals and bulky goods management With over 175 tons of furniture diverted from landfills to date, Duhallow Revamp is actively participating in a greener local environment. One of the principal aims of Duhallow Revamp is to repair furniture items with as little waste as possible. There is a strict adherence to using a minimum of 90% reuse goods and materials in the overall operations and to date, the average is less than 5% of new materials. Over 160 tons of the furniture handled by Revamp has been redistributed back into the community through sales and refurbishment, thereby contributing to a reduction in ‘greenhouse’ gas emissions and fly tipping. The provision of a free collection service offers a great incentive to all individuals in the community to play their part in creating a cleaner local environment. Repair Heroes In October 2020, IRD Duhallow Furniture Revamp was chosen as one of two social enterprises to represent Ireland in Europe, and was given the stage as part of International Repair Day. Coordinated by the Right to Repair movement and the European RE-USE network, the campaign saw Duhallow Revamp participate in a series of short videos about “heroes” from across Europe to highlight their contribution to the repair movement. These videos were broadcast all across the EU through social media channels and platforms.

Minister Joe O’Brien met with some of the IRD Duhallow Staff at Revamp: Colm O’Connor, Jessica Baron, Niall Burke and Triona Dennehy Employment.

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Kickstart In 2020 IRD Duhallow was approved funding from the Department of Justice to deliver a Kick Start Programme for 15 months. Kickstart aims to support social enterprises like Duhallow Revamp to create and sustain employment opportunities for people with Kickstart is closely aligned to the criminal convictions who find it difficult to ‘Working to Change – social enterprise and employment access the labour market.Many people with strategy 2021 – 2023’. previous convictions in Duhallow find themselves facing a difficult rural job market. In some instances, they cannot return to the same workplace they left or were unemployed for a long period of time in advance of entering prison. In the absence of sustainable employment opportunities, there is a serious danger that the efforts of somebody trying to make a fresh start will unravel. The National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland 2019-2022 has highlighted the valuable role Local Development Companies like IRD Duhallow play in supporting Social enterprises. The approach is flexible where possible in that we respond to diversity, the varying capacities and interests of employees. IRD Duhallow would like to acknowledge and thank Maria Walsh, Training and Employment Officer for the Irish Association for Social Inclusion Opportunities (Probation Services) who has been extremely helpful in supporting referrals to the project.

Feirme, Boxing Club, GAA. This holistic approach adopted by IRD Duhallow ensures that the individual is supported in every way possible to obtain and sustain real employment and break the cycle of offending to ensure a better life for themselves and their families. This project supports a positive media campaign to ensure encouraging messages resulting from the Kickstart project regularly filter out to the general public through social media, the Discover Duhallow community magazine. It is envisaged that this will promote improved perceptions and support in the community.

Kickstart Coordinator Colm O’ Connor providing training on induction day

In line with the Working For Change Strategy 2021-2023 a wraparound technique underpins IRD Duhallow’s Kickstart approach. The project acts as a gateway for participants and their families by improving their access to numerous supports/services through the integrated suite of programmes operated within the IRD Duhallow company structure. People with previous convictions are offered placements through RSS/Tus/CE (depending on their eligibility). It allows the person to move forward at a pace which is appropriate for them thus reducing the risk of setbacks which can be significantly detrimental to motivation for a person with a criminal conviction. Meaningful work placements help to increase the aspirations of these people, enhance their CV, get ‘job ready’ or ‘further education ready’ and they will have a possible reference for future industry recognised employment, apprenticeships or entry to educational institutes.

Before and after pictures of the new Canteen area in which work was completed with the assistance of Tús and CE participants.

A Coordinator has been employed to support Duhallow Revamp in creating and sustaining employment opportunities for persons with a criminal conviction. The Coordinator provides mentoring to encourage uptake and access to services/supports and promotes a “Can Do” attitude amongst these people whilst encouraging families to empower them to take self-responsibility where appropriate. All available supports including health & well-being, educational, labour market training and occupational specific skills, career advice and guidance support are outlined and explained in a supportive manner to assist individuals. Social connections are encouraged including social/recreational/sporting/activities and opportunities as well as taster opportunities within their own communities through the various clubs and organisations e.g. Macra na

Revamp was previously operating with no onsite dedicated canteen area. Funding was approved through Kickstart for capital works to develop a canteen in an unused space of the building. This has allowed for informal meet-ups in a relaxed environment and provided a space for the coordinator to meet staff and participants in a one to one setting. A storeroom for materials was also required. This new storage space has allowed for the purchase of material in bulk and therefore enhancing the financial viability of Revamp. It has also freed up working space in the workshops where materials are currently stored. A dedicated, dry, well ventilated and warm space was necessary to avoid waste. The area can be locked and is operated by nominated personnel which is optimal for stock control.

An aerial photograph of the James O’Keeffe Institute, where IRD Duhallow offers a range of training and employment focused interventions.

Before and after pictures of the new training room which will allow participants of Kickstart to upskill by undertaking labour market related training courses

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Afterschools Established in 2005, Newmarket Afterschool’s is 15 years in operation. It was established in response to a recognised need for Afterschool care in local rural areas as there was no other service available, and this still remains the case. We provide a top quality wrap around service to primary school children who are collected from school daily by bus with a passenger assistant, receive a freshly prepared nutritious dinner from Duhallow Community Food Services along with one to one help and supervision with their homework.

Response to Level 5 Restrictions Schools could not reopen after the Christmas holidays, however, childcare and school aged services were permitted to open. We responded to this by opening full days 9am-6pm for children of essential workers and vulnerable children. All online classes were facilitated and children were Afterschools Team: Rachael O Callaghan, Tús, supported to complete their work, Bríghid-Íde Walsh, Afterschools Co-ordinator while also making time for fun, and Jodie O Mahony, CE. activities and games in between. This was an essential service for families that needed childcare and it was a social outlet for the children and a bit of normality in their lives. Some children attending didn’t have the facilities to complete their assigned work at home or log on for their live classes so for these children the Afterschool’s was a vital lifeline to keep on top of their work and in touch with their class.

Looking for pond life as part of the Easter Camp.

The Afterschools acts as a social outlet where children can meet their peers, have fun, relax and feel like they belong. It is a safe, inclusive and fun environment that supports children to develop socially, emotionally and educationally according to their interests and abilities. Parents send their children not only for childcare but for help with homework as there may be literacy/numeracy issues at home and also for personal and social issues. IRD Duhallow runs weekly literacy and numeracy classes and a Touch Type Read Spell (TTRS) programmes which are complimentary. There is a crossover of services as some children come for these complimentary services and then also use the Afterschools or vice versa. The Afterschools staff has worked hard in the last 12 months to expand the service with the result that a number of new families joined; in response to the children now getting their homework online and having to complete tasks online we have purchased several tablets to facilitate online homework and learning. Literacy tutor Sinead Guiney supports brothers Ryan and Dillon O’Sullivan in TTRS.

Baking is always a favoured activity in the Afterschools. Here is Rita Angland, Faye O Flaherty, Danny Hughes, Mya Hourigan, Sophie Sheehan, Isla Hughes and Emily O Flaherty showcasing the reindeers they baked and decorated.

Camps The Afterschools had a fun filled, jam packed summer running 6 weeks of summer camps. Themes included Little Chefs and Artists where children enjoyed baking and cooking things from start to finish and arts and crafts. During Nature Detectives we spent the majority of the day outside exploring and appreciating our natural surroundings. We went down to the river to find invertebrates and other life in the stream, we caught and released mice to allow the children to get a close look at them and learnt how to identify whether it was a bank vole or field mouse by looking at their features. Whizz Kids was all about science experiments and computers; the children worked in pairs to research and decided on a final experiment that they carried out at the end of the week; they prepared a PowerPoint presentation on their experiment of choice and presented it to the group. The Afterschools also ran camps during the October and Easter holidays; the Spooktacular Halloween Camp included Halloween themed baking, arts, crafts, games and Trick or Treating and the Egg-citing Easter Camp included Easter themed activities and an egg hunt around the grounds of the James O Keeffe Institute. These camps are open to all children, not just those enrolled in the Afterschools.

This service is essential for parents in the Newmarket surrounding regions who otherwise would be excluded from participation in work or training due to a lack of childcare. Additionally, people parenting alone and those who are living in the area but are not originally from the area don’t have the luxury of extended family to depend on. Parents are assured that their children are cared for in a safe environment, which allows them the opportunity to take up employment or partake in education and training courses. With the introduction of the National Childcare Scheme the Afterschools will be more financially accessible to families who would not have qualified for a subsidy previously.

We bought several tablets to facilitate the new way children are receiving and completing their homework; here is Jodie O Mahony and Rachael O Callaghan setting up the tablets ahead of the children being picked up from school.

The Afterschools took part in National Spring Clean Day 2021.

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Duhallow Community Laundry

The laundry team continued to provide a vital service the past year ensuring all their customers were well looked after.

Seven years on from when we first opened the doors of Duhallow Community Laundry its need has never been more evident than in the last 12 months. Initially identified by Duhallow Carers Network and the SAOI Network to help lessen the burden on family carers and older people to have clean fresh laundry it has since expanded to meet the needs of all those who weren’t in a position financially to access other commercial offerings.

Duhallow Community Laundry is a demand deficient social enterprise and is therefore operating as an affordable laundry service where it is accessible for those most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community such as the Elderly, Lone Parents, Carers, the Unemployed, recipients of Family Income Supplement, Disability Allowance, Farm Assist, and participants from our schemes such as Tús, Rural Social Scheme and Community Employment. A free collection and delivery service ensures that those who have limited or no means of transport are not excluded from accessing this service.

Health and Safety Committee oversees the most stringent of protocols that were introduced following consultation with the COVID-19 LEAD Worker Representatives Colm Crowley and Marie Fleming. Covid 19 showed us that the service the laundry provides is more than just a laundry service. It is a means of linking in with those most in need Mary O’Shea another of our regular customers of our service in the most difficult that collect from during our weekly routes. of times, supporting family and voluntary carers who could not always call to a loved ones home to do their washing and helping to make sure that no one was left without the support they needed.

CE participant Joan Sheehan steam ironing. Joan previously worked in the laundry as part of her placement on Tús and has now progressed onto CE, which will allow her complete training and work towards mainstream employment.

Governance The Social Economy Working Group took the decision to ensure Duhallow Community Laundry remained opened this past year during COVID lock downs. They were very cognisant of the importance of ensuring continuity of service and ensuring that all the procedures in place would Margaret and Christine putting the finishing touches safeguard our customers as to curtains which are always a popular item to get laundered. well as our staff. Working closely together the working group and management were very conscious that many of our customers lived alone and it was agreed that additional supports should be offered to them where required including the delivery of their shopping, prescriptions, fuel or newspapers. COVID-19 IRD Duhallow from the start was a partner in the Kerry and Cork Community Response Advisory Group and was recognised as providing essential services to the community. Therefore, it was necessary to introduce additional protocols in the laundry to ensure that the service remained open and ensure that all the procedures in place provided a robust safeguard for our customers as well as our staff. Staff member Anita Castle who recently joined the Company’s

Anita Castle ensuring all policies and procedures are up to date.

Staffing Support Whilst the Laundry provides an essential service, it is also a great opportunity as a work placement location for the long term unemployed we come in contact with through the Job Centre, Tús and CE schemes. A variety of skills are developed as part of working here including: customer care, cash reconciliation, co-ordination, team work, scheduling and operating various types of equipment. The Social Economy Working Group acknowledges the support received from the Community Services Programme, Rural Social Scheme, Tus and CE activation schemes who all support the staffing of this service. They also acknowledge the support received from other staff of IRD Duhallow who assisted when the need arose during the pandemic. Anita Castle oversees day to day operations and leads the dedicated team of Margaret Murphy, Christine Murphy and Joan Sheehan who provide a high quality service and excellent customer care to all our customers.

Margaret Murphy collecting Laundry from Timmy O’Connor. The collection and delivery service is a vital lifeline for many older people, which was amplified during COVID.

Brendan O’Connor one of our regular customers collecting his laundry.

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Testimonial - Brendan O’Connor This Laundry service is very useful to me in providing me with clean clothes every week, having clean clothes to wear is very much appreciated when you’re dressed well it makes one feel good and more confident about themselves. I also find it very useful for household items such as sheets, I wish to thank very sincerely the staff for being helpful and welcoming every week.


IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

Duhallow Community Food Services - 25 Years

Helen Taylor worked in our Bakery unit in DCFS in Boherbue for a number of years.

In 1992, having completed a detailed LEADER funded study of the food industry in Duhallow, the development plan for the establishment of a Food Centre was presented to the Board of IRD Duhallow. The study identified a significant lack of food start up in the area and noted a markable absence of food grade premises to facilitate such start up as well as a lack of food training programmes aimed at potential entrepreneurs. However, a number of bakers as well as producers of preserves and delicatessen food products operating from home kitchens were identified. Many unaware of the need to have kitchens certified by the HSE.

one at a time until the meals on wheels’ service with its ancillary catering and home baking service now firmly established, eventually occupied the entire building. From 2008 onwards, the HSE began to raise concerns about the space available with the ever Patricia Piggott DCFS with Board Members Jack Roche, Fr. expanding demand for Pat McCarthy (RIP), Nora Dennehy, Stephen Kelly Southern Health Board, Tim Meagher and Maura Walsh. the meals service, and so the Board took on the ambitions project in conjunction with the James O’Keeffe Foundation, in 2012 to build a purpose build, State of the Art Food premises in Newmarket. 25 years on we are now producing and delivering almost 40,000 meals annually.

In 1993 in conjunction with Boherbue Co-op the old creamery warehouse was identified as a suitable location and given over to IRD Duhallow. Plans were drawn up in conjunction with the HSE. Four incubation food units were established with a complete refurbishment of the building and investment of over €152,000. The idea was to provide a training ground for producers in which they gain practical hand on experience of product development and testing, market research, market development on all stages of food development. The ultimate aim of the centre was to sustain existing food business and encourage new food companies start up through incubation support so as the risk of failure was minimised. A number of artisan and new businesses started successfully from the Food Centre and went on to have their own premises.

The impact of the rural meals service should not be underestimated. The fact that we started delivering meals into people homes, meant we had direct access to the most vulnerable people in our society. We were able to see first had the circumstances under which people lived and the main challenges facing them. Reiterated by the Late Fr McCarthy, Parish Priest of Boherbue/Kiskeam at a meeting with Minister O Cuiv in 2003. When asked what elderly people wanted, Fr Pat quietly but emphatically said, a hot meal, warm in their homes and the ability to get out and collect their pension. This was a key point in time for the establishment of the IRD Duhallow model of Community Enterprises in Duhallow. We went on to establish Duhallow Area Rural Transport, Duhallow Warmers Homes Scheme, Care and Repair, The Laundry Service, Duhallow Furniture Revamp and the establishment of over 20 Active Retired Groups, throughout Duhallow, under our SAOI Network. This heralded the dawn of the Third Age in Duhallow – Our Elderly as a huge resource rather than an indicator of disadvantage in the region. In 2006, Duhallow Community Food Services was established as an independent company. We are now producing almost 40,000 meals per year. We have a restaurant facility on site and we Two of our longest serving members of staff, Den Lane and John continue to cater for a Daly. Den retired earlier this year after 18 years’ service. wide variety of events across the region as well as supplying healthy lunches to local secondary schools and crèches, while providing employment opportunities for 38 people.

The old co-op premises in Boherbue, which we transformed into the Food Centre with LEADER II Funding.

Simultaneously, our Community Development Working Group was rigorously researching the supports required for our higher than national average, ageing population. A meals on wheels facility that serviced the entire rural hinterland of Duhallow was identified as a necessary service through our consultation with the Public Health Nurses. A hot meal daily ensured elderly people had a greater resistance to illness and hyperthermia, particularly during the winter months. IRD Duhallow took over one of the units and began the first rural meals on wheel service in 1996, as part of a European Programme to identify new job opportunities for women, with partners in Ballyhoura and Avondhu. From humble beginnings, producing just 6 meals on our first day, the service grew beyond the size of the initial unit capacity and the years following, as small food The Late Rita Aherne, who developed businesses grew and moved on, the meals her Greenacres Food Business from service expanded to take on a new unit one of the incubation units in the

Staff and Board members celebrate 25 years of DCFS at our new building in the James O’Keeffe Complex in Newmarket.

Food Centre premises in Boherbue.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Duhallow Community Food Services

DCFS Manager Orlaith Tomkins

Orlaith Tomkins has been manager of DCFS since 2008. She is responsible for managing the daily operations throughout the business. She holds a degree from GMIT in Hotel & Catering Management and attained the IMCV Professional Manager and Management of Food Hygiene awards. Prior to working for DCFS Orlaith spent many years working in the hotel industry both in Ireland and abroad. The services offered by DCFS have grown and expanded greatly throughout the years. Catering for the very young to our most senior citizens.

Catering for Children and Students DCFS caters for children from babies to leaving cert students, their carers and teachers in various facilities throughout Duhallow. Our clients include Boherbue Comprehensive School, Colaiste Treasa in Kanturk, Newmarket Afterschools and Banteer Childcare Facility. All food is prepared daily in our premises in Newmarket using with only the freshest Geraldine Cronin preparing an order for ingredients, no preservatives or outside catering in the bakery colours are added. The facilities have and treats for the restaurant. healthy eating policies and DCFS works in parallel with the staff to ensure standards are upheld.

Rural Meals Service The rural meals service is at the heart of the operation in DCFS, and that was never more evident than in the past year. In 2020 DCFS produced and delivered over 40,000 meals, to senior citizens and those not in a position to cook for themselves throughout the Duhallow Area. For a number of months, the entire facility was devoted to the production of Aidan Creedon loading his van in meals for delivery to the elderly who were preparation for the meals delivery isolating on public health advice, with a real fear of contracting COVID-19 if they ventured out. The ability to adapt to the needs of the customers was critical at this time. The design of the building allowed for staff to work at safe distances from each other to observe social distancing rules, providing a safe working environment for the team. It was always appreciated that the service is a vital source of social contact and connectivity for many older people who are vulnerable to social exclusion and social isolation, again over this time this need was magnified. Drivers following all health protocol were sure to have a kind word with clients every day.

Craig Hurley and Aaron Coleman discussing the plan of action for the day in the kitchen

Delivery drivers with transport supervisor Neily O Flynn

Governance and staffing The company is managed by a board of 18 voluntary directors who give generously of their time and expertise. The board has continued to meet online monthly throughout COVID to oversee operations of the company. We are also fortunate to have a long serving dedicated staff. Orlaith together with a team of supervisors (Administration; Olive Casey, Transport and Distribution; Neily O’Flynn, Kitchen; Sheila Lane, School Catering; Mary O Connell, and Restaurant; Sheila McCarthy) are committed to the philosophy and beliefs of DCFS to provide a quality product and service to all our customers. The team must also be commended for their flexible attitude in changing working patterns to ensure the continuation of the meals service through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers can avail of home delivery Monday to Friday, collect or dine in our restaurant (restrictions permitting) with plenty of options available. Telephone 029 76375, and a person will be added to the delivery schedule, special diets are also catered. Now more than ever the role of the meals on wheels’ service is extremely important in society and in ensuring our senior people are well looked after.

Ever since opening the doors in 1994 DCFS has engaged in commercial activity to offset the cost associated with production and distribution of the meals. While DCFS receives funding for staffing and some running costs from `Pobal /CSP, a grant from the HSE there is still is large deficit to make up. Finances have come increasingly difficult in current times. In line with Government measures commercial activity was very limited throughout 2020 and early 2021. Restaurant/Deli/Bakery/Outside Catering Our Restaurant/Deli on site serves a large selection of food to takeaway or eat in. Larger quantities can be pre ordered and ready for collection. Our senior menu is available for €8.00 for a dinner and dessert each week day also. A full brochure is available detailing savoury and sweet options. Sheila McCarthy Restaurant Supervisor All food is prepared in house and discussing the day’s menu with Tasha O made from scratch. Brien

Ed Twomey and Julie Messemer loading a van ready to deliver meals.

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2020 - 2021

IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

Warmer Homes Initiative

Colm Crowley, Niall Guiney, James Kelleher, Noel Heffernan, Timothy Roche, Liam Buicke and Minister for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien.

Vans donated by West Cork Development Partnership that were purchased through the Dormant Accounts Fund. Their Warmer Homes Scheme ceased operations in early 2021

Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme (BEWHS) Our Warmer Homes Scheme has been in operation for 15 years and has to date insulated over 4,150 houses across Cork City and County, South Limerick and all of Kerry.

Employment The Warmer Homes Scheme is staffed through the Community Services Programme (CSP) which contributes towards the employment of a coordinator and 5 full time staff. The scheme is further supported through a number of labour schemes including RSS, CE and the TUS Schemes all of which supply participants to work with teams insulating attics and cavity walls.

Funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Pobal through the Community Services Programme SEAI has recently added deeper retrofit works such as internal dry-lining, external wall insulation, heating upgrades, demand control ventilation and window replacement to the BEWHS. IRD Duhallow has partnered with Northside Community Enterprises and SE Systems in Cork to deliver these additional measures to our customers. Impact of COVID 19 Restrictions imposed as part of the Level 5 lockdowns meant that works on the Warmers Homes Scheme had to cease. However, the staff were redeployed to essential services such as meal delivery, laundry and community care initiatives. With the roll out of the Covid 19 vaccination for many it posed the difficulty of how to get to the Vaccine Centres? With poor Liam Buicke who normally works with public transport in rural areas we Warmer Homes helping out with laundry recognised the difficulty many older deliveries during lockdowns when warmer homes activities were curtailed. and more vulnerable people were at risk of experiencing in trying to access transport for their vaccination. We commenced a service where we collected people from their own homes to bring them to their GP surgery or centre to receive their vaccine.

Minister Joe O’Brien, Maura Walsh and Colm Crowley of IRD Duhallow discussing the work undertaken by the Warmer Homes Scheme.

Continuous Training & Quality Assurance Training is an essential part of our service where Warmer Homes staff are kept up to date on industry standards. These include Manual Handling, Working at Heights training, Abrasive Wheel training, Mobile Tower Scaffold training and Safe Pass. Our cavity wall teams have received training from Envirobead Insulation on surveying and insulation and are certified with the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). KSN oversee the quality control for the BEWHS where their inspectors carry out random quality checks on houses completed by IRD Duhallow.

EnergyUnion.ie EnergyUnion.ie is a partnership between 9 Credit Unions in Cork and NCE Energy Hub to provide members of the Credit Unions the opportunity of making their homes more energy efficient and reduce energy bills through the Better Energy Homes Scheme (BEHS) grant. We carries out a survey on eligible properties and then submit a quotation for works. NCE Noel Heffernan coring a wall for a vent. Energy Hub then process the application on behalf of the householder and the credit union pay the contractor directly once works are completed.

Cork City Council Works IRD Duhallow in partnership with Cork City Council is now involved in the delivery of works under the Housing Adaptations, Mobility Aid and Housing Aid for Elderly grants for Cork City Council applicants. The grants are funded up to a maximum of 95% of the cost of works. Some householders were struggling Timothy Roche drilling a hole for Cavity financially to obtain the match Wall Insulation. funding for such works. The Council can now advise applicants of our service as we are registered with Age Action in Cork City who maintain a list of available contractors for housing grants. IRD Duhallow are the only contractor providing a payment plan option. Works funded through these grants include access ramps, grab rails, bathroom facilities like an accessible shower or a downstairs toilet, stair lift and space for wheelchair access. We began works in mid-May this year and so far have five house lined up to complete by September.

Enprova & Kingspan Retrofit Home Incentive Scheme IRD Duhallow is a registered installer of attic, cavity wall and internal dry lining insulation measures under the Kingspan & Enprova Retrofit Home Incentive Scheme. A grant of up to €850 is available per house for attic and cavity wall insulation, regardless of house size. A BER (Building Energy Rating) Certificate is generated for each completed house by an independent assessor. In 2020, 18 houses received funding for insulation works through this scheme.

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IRD DUHALLOW | PROGRESS REPORT

2020 - 2021

South Eastern Duhallow Communities

IRD Duhallow Representatives

Aubane Banteer Bweeng Derrinagree Donoughmore & Stuake Firmount Kilcorney Laharn Lyre Millstreet Nadd New Tipperary Rathcoole

John Kelleher & Noreen Kelleher Denis Withers & John Kirwan Jeanette O'Connell & Sean Kelly Tom Meaney & Andrias O'Sullivan Marie Wallace & Monica Kennedy Rachel Kelleher & Peter Cafferkey Seamus Curtin & Dan Burke Eileen Forde & Sheila Crowley Billy Murphy & Richard Murphy Noel Buckley & Denis Hickey Mary Leahy & Paudie O'Shea Donnache O'Donovan & Bryan Byrne Dan Joe O'Keeffe & Mary Keller Sexton

Wastern Duhallow Communities

IRD Duhallow Representatives

Ballinahulla Ballydaly Ballydesmond Boherbue Cullen Foilogohig Glash Gneeveguilla Kiskeam Knockaclarig Knocknaboul Knocknagree Meelin Rathmore Rockchapel Shrone Taur Tureencahill

Liam Doody & Betty Collins Richie O'Connor & John McCarthy Siobhan Moynihan & Dan O'Connor Margaret Murphy & Marie Casey Derry Morley & Lorraine Singleton Philomena Cremin & Geraldine Cremin Mossie Fitzpatrick & Timothy Collins Cormac Collins & Yvonne Crean PJ O'Leary & Batt Casey June Walsh & Ide Fitzgerald Maureen Fleming & Brin McDonnell Noreen McSweeney & Mairead O'Sullivan Elenor Sheahan & Denis McAuliffe Brian Kelly & Marie O'Leary Mike Allen & Breda O'Callaghan Conor Creedon & Colette Carmody Batt O'Callaghan & Jeremiah Murphy Bertie O'Leary & Lil Fleming

North Eastern Duhallow Communities

IRD Duhallow Representatives

Castlemagner Dromtariffe Kanturk Kilbrin Lismire Newmarket Tullylease Freemount

Andy Bourke & Annette O'Mahony David O'Keeffe & John Linehan John Fuller & Tommy Mullane Tom O'Riordan & Paulina Breen Martina Aherne & Marie Arnold Marian Murphy & Ollie Dugdale Angela Hannigan & Mary O'Connell PJ O'Sullivan & Mike O'Regan

Mid Cork Communities

IRD Duhallow Representatives

Carriganimmy Clondrohid Aghabullogue Rylane Ballinagree Bealnamorive Inchigeelagh Kilbarry Macroom Rusheen

Joan Kelleher & Mauirce Manning Breda Kelleher & Gerald Kelleher Cal Healy & Conor McSweeny Nigel Dennehy & John Crowley Shane Lehane & Aonghus MacSuibhne Jim Twomey & Martin Coughlan Joe Creedon & Mike Joe Corkery Siobhan O'Dowd & Nora Casey Breda McCarthy & Nora O'Riordan Gerald Coakley & Ken Keneally


James O’Keeffe Institute, Newmarket, Co. Cork, Ireland Tel: 00-353-29-60633 Fax: 00-353-29-60694 • Email: duhallow@irdduhallow.com

www.irdduhallow.com

Profile for IRD Duhallow

Progress Report 2020 - 2021  

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