Clare 'meitheal' on right track
In these straitened times there are a thousand things in every community that need to be done and, while there's no shortage of goodwill, there's no money to do them.
A community in east Clare recently put this abundance of goodwill and the limited resources of Clare County Council together to resolve an ongoing need in the locality.
Ogonnelloe, a rural village on the shores of Lough Derg, is situated on two sides of a busy road linking Killaloe and Scarriff. Over the years, a crying local need identified by all sections of the community was the need for a footpath through the village so that people could walk in safety from one end to the other, a distance of almost 2km.
"It's a treacherous piece of road without hard shoulder or footpath," explained Michael McNamara of the local Community Council.
"For children, and indeed adults, walking to the school, the GAA ground and to St Molua's church was a hazard."
At the suggestion of local parish priest, Fr Donagh O'Meara and a parishioner working in Clare Co Council, an approach was made to the local authority to develop a partnership approach to the problem.
A broad plan was agreed whereby the council would provide the raw materials for a pathway if the locals provided the labour and equipment.
"It is not as simple as it sounds," Michael said. "We approached the local area engineer and our first task was to assure the council that we had the capacity to do this work competently and safely. In that regard traffic management and public safety was a key concern."