Communities will have to fight to save Ballyhoura Development
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In the wake of a number of public meetings about the future of Ballyhoura Development, Jim Fitzgerald, the Galbally representative for the South East Region of Ballyhoura, said that the communities will have to fight for the future of the organisation that has done so much for all of them.
Just this week, open meetings were held in Knocklong, Kildorrery and Charleville and Mr Fitzgerald said that the people in the different communities are very concerned and that the portion of the new bill about bringing all of the LEADER programmes under the one umbrella needs to be deferred, so that places like Ballyhoura Development can stay in place until at least 2020.
He said that if the bill is to go ahead, the decisions will be politically based instead of community based. Mr Fitzgerald said that people need to write to their local councillors, TD’s, and MEP’s over the next few weeks.
Speaking about how much Ballyhoura Development has helped the people of Galbally over the past number of years, he said that Galbally Community Council have received nearly €70,000 from them, excluding money that was received for the Tidy Towns.
“The funding received in Galbally has allowed us to develop and preserve all that is good in our community, but the information and support provided by the CEO and Development Officers of Ballyhoura Development will be the biggest loss to all rural communities.
“It is time for all community groups to stand behind our local LEADER group and not allow what is local to be once again taken away from us. If it is not broken, why try to fix it,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
In 2011, Galbally got €23,000 to complete the community field, they got €5,740 in 2003 for the IT room, which is widely used in the community.
Even though they got no direct funding from Ballyhoura for the childcare facility, Mr Fitzgerald said that in 2003, at an information day organised by Ballyhoura, they got the know how on how to go about bringing the facility into the village and secured funding of €150,000 for three years staff wages and €80,000 for the building.
Mr Fitzgerald stressed that without the funding, advice, information and support from Ballyhoura Development, they would not have been able to achieve so much in Galbally and that they would truly be a great loss to all rural communities.
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