Clare PPN announces a new mediation service for community groups 

Clare PPN announces a new mediation service for community groups 

Press Release: October 4th 2017

Clare PPN announces a new mediation service for community groups 

Clare Public Participation Network is delighted to announce the launch of its mediation service which will be available to Community and Voluntary Groups in County Clare. October 7th – 14th is national Mediation Awareness Week in Ireland and Clare PPN wishes to draw communities’ attention to the fact that this useful method of resolving difficulties is now available to them in the county.

Mediation is a process where a trained, neutral ‘mediator’ helps people involved in disputes or disagreements to resolve them. The process is confidential and is only offered in situations where all parties to a dispute wish to engage in mediation.  Over the spring and summer this year seven members of Clare PPN undertook an intensive training programme in mediation skills and completed their assessment successfully. These seven mediators who come from a range of backgrounds are now available to provide fully confidential mediation to member groups of Clare PPN.

Sharon Meaney of Clare Volunteer Centre who is one of the newly qualified mediators said ‘Undertaking this training was a great opportunity for us and for the whole community and voluntary sector in Clare. There are now seven people who are already involved in their own communities and groups who have a new skill and resource to contribute to the whole community.’ 

Marie Therese Carroll of Clare PPN’s Secretariat said ‘this project which is the first of its kind by any Public Participation Network is one which should provide a lasting benefit in the county. In rural areas people have always had to work together for progress and this is particularly relevant now when community groups are coming under pressure both from rural depopulation and from the increasing bureaucratic requirements they face in going about their work. Mediation is a tool that can help people to work together well and to sustain working relationships over the long term and will be a great advantage to any organisation or group that are experiencing difficulties or want help to see their way forward from a place of conflict.’

Each of the 7 mediators will be available for 2 sessions each per year and these sessions will be available free of charge to members of the PPN. The group that requires the mediation will be asked to pay the out of pocket expenses for the mediators who will work in pairs.

Inquiries about mediation or anything to do with Clare PPN can be directed to or 087 1617375.


Notes for editors:

Clare PPN is a network of community, voluntary, environmental and social inclusion groups from Clare. It exists to facilitate the formal participation by the community sector in Clare County Council’s decision making structures. It is funded jointly by the Department Rural and Community Development and Clare County Council but is autonomous and its activities are directed by its members through an elected secretariat.


Clare PPN’s website is and they are on twitter @clare_ppn and

Report from Sarah Clancy on meeting of the Local Traveller Consultative Committee meeting of 19th September 2017

Report from Sarah Clancy Clare PPN’s representative on Clare County Council’s Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee of meeting of September 19th 2017

Chair Mike McKee welcomed Siobhan Mulcahy to the role of representing Clare County Council’s Social Development Directorate on the LTACC. Siobhan took over from Sean Lenihan who has been moved.

Several actions which had been discussed at previous meetings were again discussed here and decisions were made as follows:

Traveller Needs Analysis:  It was agreed by the LTACC that Sarah Clancy should investigate how Traveller Needs Analysis for other counties were carried out and at what cost. Following this she will report back via email to the chair and Siobhan Mulcahy and they will see if funding can be allocated or sourced elsewhere for this work to be carried out.  The purpose of this project would be to make contact with all Travellers in Clare and to consult them as to their current and future housing needs and preferences and to ensure that all of those who are seeking accommodation from the Local Authority have applied through the correct channels in order to be considered for it and if not that they would be assisted to do so.

Sanitation for Roadside Sites: It was decided that the community, Traveller and Councillor representatives on this committee would once again make a request by letter to the CE of Clare County Council Pat Dowling, that provisions should be made for sanitation, waste disposal and electricity for Travellers currently living in unofficial sites around the county with particular reference to the onset of winter. Cllr Mike McKee is to draft this letter with the assistance of Bernie McDonagh.

It was decided that Sarah Clancy would write to the new traveller led Approved Housing Body CENA and invite them to present to Clare LTACC.

It was noted that due to the current market, relying on the private sector to provide housing for the Traveller community is not feasible or likely to be successful and on that basis it was agreed that a discussion about the possibility of using ethnic identifiers for Travellers applying for housing and the possibility of investigating whether a ‘positive discrimination’ approach where approved housing bodies working with Clare County Council could be requested/required and funded to provide Traveller specific or quotas for Travellers should take place at the next meeting.


The next meeting was scheduled for November 7th.



Report from Clare PPN rep Mary O’Donoghue on the Local Community Development Committee Meeting which took place on Sept 14th 2017

Report from Clare PPN Social Inclusion Representative Mary O’Donoghue on LCDC Meeting September 14th 2017.

Mary O’Donoghue represents the social inclusion college of Clare PPN on this committee.

Mary notes that it would be good to have a meeting of the Social Inclusion College of Clare PPN in advance of each LCDC meeting.

Agenda Item Main Points and Agreed Actions Note from Rep
Note – It would be good to have a social inclusion meeting prior to the LCDC meetings.
Healthy Ireland Fund


·         Very brief summary of applications under this fund was circulated for approval

·         Asked for Support and Capacity Building for groups applying for funding

·         Want to set up a Funding Sub-committee however this is difficult as most community reps could have conflict of interest.  Need further clarification

·         Co. Clare has signed up for Healthy County initiative which will support the National Framework and will along with CYPSE develop a plan for health and wellbeing

Note:  More and more funding programmes are being administered through LCDC yet LCDC does not have final say just a role in recommending to relevant department.  This is not a good process.
SICAP – Social Inclusion Community Activation Programme (with CLDC)


· New SICAP is in place for 2018 – 2022

· Closing date for tenders is 29th September

Social Inclusion Sub-group to meet to evaluate tenders –  training for members of sub-group available through Pobal

I have asked that when sub-groups etc are being established through the LCDC that social inclusion representation is not just confined to myself and Dermot as we are stretched – this is being considered and I will let you all know the outcome.

The training guide to completing the individual registration form gives more info on new SICAP and worth reading – Link to document

Next Meeting


·         Wednesday, 8th November



Report from Anny Wise on the Meeting of the Rural Development Strategic Policy Committee of September 12th 2017

Report from Anny Wise on the Meeting of the Rural Development Strategic Policy Committee of September 12th 2017

The official launch of the Clare Rural Development Strategy took place on Thursday 7th September in Kilmaley Day Care centre under a large Marquee. The following Tuesday the SPC for Rural Development met in the County Council offices and all the members were then informed of all aspects of this (first in Ireland) document which will set out Clare vision up to 2026.

This policy came out of a number of meetings by a Rural Development Forum which included 40 members from both elected, agencies and community organisations.  The whole scheme is new from the point of view that it is a bottom up system. that involved all stake holders and instead of ignoring the problems that is effecting Rural Ireland – it takles these head on with some very new initiatives.  I wish to thank the Forum of their long hours of work, mostly done on a voluntary basis and their future work – the next decision to be on the first years plan of action.   If any of you want to read the document it can be found here on Clare County Council’s webpage:

News report on the launch of the Rural Development Strategy can be read here:



11/9/2017 Report from Theresa O’Donohoe from the Economic Development Committee Meeting

Report from Clare County Council’s Economic Development Strategic Policy Meeting  of 11th September 2017

Theresa O’Donohoe is Clare PPN’s only representative on the Economic Development Strategic Policy Committee of Clare County Council. She represents the environmental college of Clare PPN but as the only rep on this forum she is always happy to raise any issues of concern or policy on behalf of all of Clare PPN’s members. Her report from yesterday’s meeting is on her blog here:

She can be contacted at if you have any comments or queries about this Committee.


Get Your Nominations in for Clare’s Older Person of the Year 2017

Clare Older People’s Council Older Person of the Year Award


The Clare Older People’s Council has asked us to make sure you know about their Older Person of the Year Award.

Between now and August 22nd they are looking for nominations of people over 55 years of age who have contributed positively to their communities through volunteering.

You can print off the application form at this link OPC Person of the Year Award and fill it in and return it either by post or email.

Email Address:

Clare Older People’s Council,
C/O Clare Local Development Company,
Unit 1, Kilrush Road
County Clare.