Plan charts the way for Cloonacool
Community café one of many new initiatives for the village
There was a large gathering for the launching of the Strategic Action Plan for Cloonacool together with the official opening of the recently established Mill Community Café in the village.
The ceremonial honour of cutting the ribbon at the café, which is situated in the community centre, was bestowed on Fr. Dan O'Mahony, in the company of those who promoted the idea. Being a community café, it is entirely run by volunteers who are ably supported by a team of local bakers who supply a fantastic selection of freshly baked goods. Already, the café has become a regular meeting place for people and the feedback from customers is very positive in terms of the culinary delights and the social benefits they are experiencing.
The community of Cloonacool has been working on preparing the Strategic Action Plan for the past few months. The plan details a number of areas for development over the coming years.
An initial public meeting highlighted ambitions to enhance community facilities and to develop new initiatives such as a Community Café, a Men's Shed, a heritage group, an environmental group and a festival. Even ahead of the launch of the overall plan last week, many of the initiatives were up and running. The project was made possible with the help of a grant from LEADER 2014-2020 Rural Development Programme.
The plan was officially launched by Hugh MacConville, vice Chairperson of Sligo LCDC, who commended those involved for producing the plan and he encouraged them to continue to engage with public bodies and elected representatives to highlight the supports required to enable community groups to deliver projects for the benefit of their community.
Speaking at the launch, CEO of Sligo LEADER Partnership, Chris Gonley said, "LEADER is delighted to be able to assist communities like Cloonacool to achieve its goals - in rural regeneration and growth. The community here is a great example of what LEADER wants to help deliver. This community is also a great example of what communities can do for themselves, given a little help and support."
Liam Scollan, joint facilitator-author of the action plan said: "It is astonishing to see what the various groups in this parish have done in recent months. The new community café, a new website and other events in the pipeline show great creativity and determination."
Fiona Brennan, Chairperson of Cloonacool Community Centre said: "We can be so proud of our community and our achievements. It's all about community, holding on to what we have and never taking it for granted."
The Mill Café is open from Friday to Sunday, 10am to 2pm. Cloonacool Sheep Festival take place on September 21st/22nd -details on www.cloonacool.ie .