Wednesday 20 September 2017

Hogan must clarify IRD funding issue

A VERY lively meeting of all community groups in Banteer, Lyre, Nadd and Kilcorney was held at the Glen Theatre, Banteer, to discuss Minister Hogan's proposals to move the Leader funding 2014-2020 under the control of the County Councils which would be a major blow for IRD Duhallow and the whole rural Duhallow region.

Leader funding and other Government funding is administered by IRD Duhallow at present who have a proven track record of delivering the many Leader programmes and other programmes over the past 23 years for the benefit of all Duhallow communities. IRD Duhallow have received much recognition at EU level and have been held upby the EU as a model organisation to many other EU countries of how to properly administer Leader funds.

A large attendance including Aine Collins TD, Michael Moynihan TD and County Councillors Gerard Murphy, John Paul O Shea, Timmie Collins and Noel Buckley were present at the meeting and many speakers voiced their total disapproval of this outrageous Government proposal.

Public representatives Aine Collins TD Fine Gael, Councillor Gerard Murphy Fine Gael and Councillor Noel Buckley Fine Gael contradicted what was included in Minister Hogans report re the proposed realignment and stated that as far as they were concerned and understood from Minister Hogan, IRD Duhallow would most certainly retainits present status and the control and dispersion of Leader funds for the period 2014 to 2020.

They questioned the interpretations taken from the Ministers report by local communities and the IRD Duhallow Board. As a result of this statement by the Fine Gael Public representatives present , and the anxiety and confusion the Ministers report has created for IRD Duhallow and the local communities ,Minister Hogan is to be asked to urgently clarify in writingthat IRD Duhallow will continue to administer Leader funding for the period 20142020.

The meeting also decided to request Minister Hogan to come to Duhallow and see first-hand for himself what Leader funding has done for the communities. MEPs and the European Commission are also to be contacted to step in and prevent these disastrous Government proposals from going ahead.

The IRD Duhallow model and the Leader programme in Duhallow has been held up as a model both at National and EU level and why is this Government now changing a proven system which works and which encourages a bottom up approach to community development and has empowered Duhallow communities to help themselves.

Does this Government consider that IRD Duhallow has failed and that the Leader programmein Duhallow could be better run by Cork County Council?

PleaseMinister Hogan listen to what the EU and the people of Duhallow are saying. You are also welcome to come to Duhallow and see for yourself.