Training Seminar: Access to Information in Ireland- FOI and AIE requests.

Free Training Seminar:  December 3rd 7-9 PM Online via zoom


Information Access in Ireland: How to use FOI & AIE to request public records

Clare PPN are delighted to offer an online seminar via zoom on how community groups can use Freedom of Information and Access to Information on the Environment Requests.

This session will be delivered by Ken Fox, who is a director of the transparency group Right to Know ( ).  Right to Know is a not-for-profit focused on vindicating the rights of citizens to access information and on publishing stories based on using those rights.

Ken is a writer, researcher and teacher and was a founder of the organisation. This session is free but places are limited to ensure people attending can ask question sand engage. It will last approximately 2 hours.

Important: To reserve a place on this training please email as soon as possible.

Only those who are registered will receive the link for the seminar.

Please note that it may be necessary for us to verify the identity of participants and if so we will email you for further information.

All information will be managed in compliance with Clare PPN’s Data Protection Policy


Clare PPN Social Inclusion Submission to Clare County Development Plan 2022- 2028

Clare PPN Social Inclusion College Submission to Phase One of Clare County Council’s County Development Plan 2022- 2028.

Clare PPN’s Social Inclusion College made the attached submission to the pre-draft stage of Clare County Council’s Consultation on the County Development Plan 2022-2028. Our thanks to all those who contributed to the submission.

You can read the submission here:

Clare PPN Social Inclusion Submission to Clare County Development Plan 2022 2028 November 2020

Clare PPN’s proposal for a vision statement for County Clare is:

‘A County that values, protects and restores its unique landscape, environment and
biodiversity, where sustainable livelihoods are prioritised for this and future
generations and where citizens, migrants, ethnic minorities and people of all abilities
and age-groups and genders are able to reach their potential in an atmosphere of
support, respect and inclusion, where Local Government is open, transparent and
accountable and committed to reducing poverty and marginalisation. Our vision is for
a county to be part of and a county to be proud of.’

‘Understanding & Challenging Racism’ – Further reading and resources

Understanding and Challenging Racism: further reading and resources

Clare PPN and Fridays for Future Clare
recently hosted an online workshop on ‘Understanding and Challenging Racism’. Lots of people took part and we had a really useful discussion, led by three excellent facilitators, Vicky Donnelly, Ryma Halfoui and Oein de Bhairdúin.
As a follow-up to the discussion, they have compiled a selection of videos, articles, podcasts and other resources you might find helpful. Thanks again to everyone who took part.


Does My Life Matter?
Wexford teenager Noon Abubakar presents a speech she wrote and was due to present at a Black Lives Matter protest march in Wexford. The event was cancelled by the authorities citing that the assembly would exacerbate the Covid-19 pandemic. (June 2020.)

It’s Everywhere
Short powerful video, written and narrated by Racheal Ofori and other Black British people. Entirely relevant to Ireland too.
Racism is everywhere and only when we admit that it’s a learnt construct, and that it exists in everything can we even begin to dismantle it: the overt and the subtly insidious.

Reverse Racism
Many people will claim that racism can work ‘both ways’. The model we looked at during our workshop strongly suggests that it does not. Comedian Aamer Rahman deconstructs the notion of ‘reverse racism’ and what it would take for reverse racism to actually function. He clarifies the links between ideology, colonialism and exploitation, and the profoundly damaging impact of a belief system that elevates white norms, and dehumanises and devalues Black lives, culture, appearance and…everything. All in under 3 hyperbolic minutes.


Unequal Impact: The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change (2020)
An Article exploring the connections between colonial exploitation of land and peoples, making the struggle for climate justice and racial justice inseparable, and links with the disproportionate impact of Covid 19 on communities of colour. Featuring the work of activist
Elizabeth Yeampierre.

I Was Six When I Was First Called A N****R In Ireland (Irish Times, June 2020)
Sean Gallen writes about his experiences of racism in Ireland, from the youngest age.

Black Irish Citizens Twice As Likely To Experience Discrimination (2018)
Black Irish citizens are twice as likely to experience discrimination in seeking employment as white Irish residents and black non-Irish people are five times more likely to experience discrimination, new research has found.

A Country Seen Through The Lens Of Direct Provision. (GCN, April 2020)
Evgeny Shtorn has first-hand experience of the cruel and inhumane system; he looks at its past and imagines the long-term impact it will have not only on those forced to go through it but on Ireland itself.

Education and Love are Not the Answer (2017)
Ibram X. Kendi asserts that, “
Education, love and exemplary black people will not deliver America from racism, Kendi says. Racist ideas grow out of discriminatory policies, he argues, not the other way around.”

Aid, trade and neocolonialism:
he following two articles deal with the legacy of colonialism, and the impact of the neocolonial trade rules, tax structures and legacy of debt that continues the flow of resources from the Global South to North:

Let’s Talk About Reparations.” (2015)   

Aid in Reverse – How Poor countries Develop Rich Countries” (2017)

The Treasury’s Tweet Shows Slavery Is Still Misunderstood (2017)
David Olusoga on how the modern equivalent of £17bn was paid out to compensate slave owners for the loss of their human property.

Invisibility is the Modern Form of Racism Against Native Americans (2018)
Details of systemic racism and racist violence direct at Native American communities in the US.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy Mackintosh
An early article looking at the idea of white privilege by Peggy Mackintosh. “My work is not about blame, shame, guilt, or whether one is a “nice person.” …I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group.”
First appeared in 
Peace and Freedom Magazine, July/August, 1989, pp. 10-12, a publication of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Philadelphia, PA.


Why I no longer speak to white people about race
by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Me and White Supremacy
by Layla F Saad

I will not be erased’: Our stories growing up as people of colour
by Gal-dem

by Candice Carty-Williams

Girl, Woman, Other
by Bernardine Evaristo

Policing the Black Man
by Toni Morrison

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire’
by Akala

Dark days’
by James Baldwin


 Race Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that led to the politics of today.

Intersectionality Matters Hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw, an American civil rights advocate and a leading scholar of critical race theory.

Scene on Radio Explores human experience and American society.

1619 An audio series on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through the oldest form of storytelling.

Hoodrat to Headwrap A Decolonized Podcast with sexuality educator Ericka Hart and Deep East Oakland’s Ebony Donnley.

The End Of Policing – A Conversation with Alex Vitale

Pod Save The People Organiser and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with fellow activists.

Code Switch Fearless conversations about race  




Who Gets to be Afraid in America? & American Nightmare
both by Ibram X. Kendi

75 Things White People Can Do For Racial Justice

It’s Time To Confront The ‘Karen’ In All Of Us: Unpacking White Privilege
by Nathalie Olah

Anticolonial Activism In The Heart Of Empire – Priyamvada Gopal: Black radicals in London learnt vital lessons from rebellions in the colonies, and interpreted for a metropolitan audience

Recitatif – A short story by Toni Morrison which powerfully demonstrates the ways racism is internalised and how it manifests itself in ways such as micro-aggression

Showing Up For Racial Justice’s Political Educational, Toolkit and Resource

1619 Project
An ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very centre of our national narrative.

Feminist Killjoys – Blog of Independent scholar Sara Ahmed, whose area of study includes the intersection of feminist theory, lesbian feminism, queer theory, critical race theory and post-colonialism

(available on Netflix)


American son

Get on the bus

Imperial dreams

LA 92

Malcom X



Strong Island


Links & resources related to the Travelling community in Ireland:


Behaviours and Attitudes

Traveller Homes: Waste of Resource

Delight of Traveller homes not being built

Annie Furey


Discrimination case thrown out due to accent

Trish Nolan broken lines


Irish Network Against Racism:
And finally, a resource pack from the Irish Network Against Racism, to better understand racism in Ireland and your role in addressing it:


Postcards from the Edge: Mike Hanrahan – Cooking up a storm

Postcards from the Edge: Mike Hanrahan – Cooking up a storm

Postcards from the Edge: Mike Hanrahan – Cooking up a storm

With a book tour, live music tour and a number one album, singer-songwriter Mike Hanrahan‘s year was looking really good. Then Covid-19 came and he had nowhere to go. So he took a leap into online performing and created a positive space for those sailing into the unknown

After studying and teaching at Ballymaloe Cookery School, followed by 10 years working in the food industry, I recently returned to my wonderful life of music. In the past few months I celebrated a number one album with Stockton’s Wing, my book Beautiful Affair – A journey of music, food and friendship, was published and was shortlisted as best Irish published book of the year in the An Post Irish Book Awards.

A book tour was in progress; tours were set with Leslie Dowdall and Eleanor Shanley; The Wing had a few gigs throughout the summer; and I was back writing songs again. My year was looking really good, I was bubbling, at a creative peak, ready for action, with so many places to go. Then suddenly, I had nowhere to go.

It’s frightening to watch the pages of your working diary flitter away on a breeze of Covid 19 until all you have left is one book festival appearance, in Wexford, at the end of September. In a year of empty theatres, a southeast stage becomes your focal point, your only hope – all is not yet lost. You imagine the space, the lights, the audience, the stories, the laughter and the songs. As each day passes without a quit notice, your resolve is spun by that single thread of hope.

Fear filled my first days of isolation but I knew I had to address it in a positive way, give my life some structure, occupy myself with purpose and discipline to ward off any signs of depression or anxiety that thrive in such times of uncertainty, always ready to pounce.

Facebook can be a cruel place at times and, in the midst of a growing number of keyboard warriors, I decided to use its platform to counteract the negativity, shut it out by creating a positive space for me and others who were sailing out on similar boats into the unknown.

I offered to help people develop new skills in that part of the house that hitherto had been cordoned off, a no-go area – the kitchen. On the first day I gave simple recipes: my mum’s brown bread, an Irish stew and an orange cake. Within minutes the pings of like, love and smiles lit up my screen with countless post approvals and queries. A friend suggested I go live and sing.

Two days later, on March 15th, I pressed ‘Live’ for the first time.

Am I on? Can you hear me ok?” Hearts flew across my screen, I sang Beautiful Affair, talked cooking and baking. Later I read and replied to all the wonderful messages from all over the world, Nova Scotia, Arkansas, Michigan, Boston, London, Sydney, Geneva, Thailand and Myanmar. I remember Myanmar from my stamp collection. My friend John Cutliffe lives there now and he baked my mum’s brown bread for his family. How cool is that?

I received photos, recipes, suggestions, questions and so many gifts, including a stunning pencil drawing of Ronnie Drew which formed part of my backdrop. As the days passed my music room was my main stage where I creatively thrived. My lockdown had found its antidote.

For 57 days I woke up, planned, researched and wrote a menu blog. At 1.07pm ‘Cooking up a Storm’ lunchtime concert went out live. I sang my old songs, new ones, odd requests, talked food, gave tips, responded to queries, interacted and sometimes ranted about things that annoyed me. Like the day Facebook accused me of a copyright breach of my own music and another tune from the 1950s which I had legally downloaded and paid for called, ‘If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake, baked a cake.’ I particularly enjoyed that rant.

When easing of restrictions was announced I decided to close the curtain. On the final day I posted the following:

To all of you who jumped on board ‘Cooking up a Storm’ throughout its nine glorious weeks of fun, craic and laughter.

The end of any tour is always bittersweet, the longing to return to the calm of the nest sits uncomfortably with the knowledge that the adrenalin buzz will soon dissipate, yet it is during that emotional transition you realise just how lucky you are to experience such diversity in your life, to connect with so many people who walk in and out of your daily routine leaving behind a beautiful glow of friendship.

These past nine weeks I found many kindred spirits in food, music and chat as we meandered our way through an astonishing and unprecedented period of all of our lives. I feel lucky, fulfilled and enriched this morning. Little did I know on March 13th 2020 this incredible journey would take me into so many homes and hearts. It has replenished my faith in humanity and in that beautiful side of Facebook which allows us a space to be kind to each other, friendly, supportive and non-judgemental. The end of this tour is sweet because it really is only a beginning.

Twas friendship brought us all together
Friendship makes our hearts unite
Friendship leads a life of pleasure
Twas friendship brought us here tonight.

People are inherently good and decent and at ‘Cooking up a Storm’ we sailed through the unknown with the knowledge that, on any given day at 1.07pm, we could moor for a short rest at to celebrate life, friendship and humanity.

The day after it ended two significant events occurred. My new iPhone developed a glitch which knocked me off all networks for several days. It had had enough. And I received an email from The Write by the Sea festival in Wexford to sadly announce the cancellation of this year’s event but with an invitation to come back on September 21st, 2021 to fulfil the booking.

My diary has started its refill.


We’d like to hear from you! Back to normal or time for radical change? We’re asking people for their views (in less than 350 words) on how to move forward together in Clare in the wake of Covid-19. You can win a €50 restaurant/take-away voucher. Details of how to submit here:

Postcards from the Edge: Willie Hanrahan – ‘We will value the company of neighbours and family in a new light’

Postcards from the Edge: Willie Hanrahan – ‘We will value the company of neighbours and family in a new light’

Postcards from the Edge: Willie Hanrahan – ‘We will value the company of others in a new light’

Social distancing and the closure of marts has been tough, and the drop in farm income is daunting, writes Doonbeg farmer Willie Hanrahan, but the pandemic has made us appreciate how fragile the humanity is and that we can survive without many of the excesses that had become normal


Since lockdown began, every morning starts the same. At 6:30 my son Liam (the farmer) leaves the house to start the morning milking. At 7 the rest of us make our appearance, and so the day begins. The major difference from other years is the fact that we have four of our five adult children back living with us. Two engineers and a Leaving Cert student. Makeshift offices with internet access have been installed.

In general the lockdown hasn’t affected our working day to any great extent – the work is the same, cows calving and calves to be fed and tended to, cows to be milked and grass to be managed. However, when we need supplies from the hardware and co-op shop we have to stand in line and socially distance, which is hard and strange as farming is a solitary life and we tend to embrace any bit of social interaction with enthusiasm.

The closure of the Mart has been one of the biggest losses to farmers as a means of selling animals and meeting likeminded people. This has been replaced with online bidding, but the social interaction is not the same. The bargaining and posturing are missing and the enjoyment of closing the deal is gone.

Online selling might be the future, but this lockdown has shown us that maybe we are not quite ready for that lack of human contact. Going to mass on Sunday morning made us stop for a while and put on the Sunday best – maybe not for the prayers but again to see a few familiar faces and catch up on the week’s gossip.

The drop in income in every sector is very concerning. Cattle and milk prices have taken a hammering and the uncertainty will have far-reaching consequences. There will be no on-farm investment this year which will have an effect on other businesses such as building and plant hire.

This lockdown has shown us that we can survive without a lot of the excesses that had become normal. Eating out, foreign holidays, leisure activities and running and racing to every cat-fight, wherever it was happening.

If there are positives in this it has to be that we will value the company of our neighbours and indeed family in a new light. Simple conversation and interaction on WhatsApp can be interesting. The Saturday night quiz has become the in thing at the moment.

The powers that be also thought the world would end if the M50 wasn’t jammed every morning and the sky wasn’t black with the congestion of planes in the sky. Everyone was looking for the soft target to blame for climate change, but now we hear the skies are clearer and the air is cleaner after just a couple of months of lockdown.

It’s time to stop blaming agriculture and the poor cow for all the problems of pollution. The whole aviation industry has to be looked at, and cleaner ways of transporting people and goods have to be found. Our whole mindset and ways of doing things have to be changed.

My chief concern for the future is not climate change, although that needs to be addressed in a common sense manner, but the realisation that we were so susceptible to a virus. Covid-19, although very serious, did not wipe out civilisation. If it were a virus like ebola or some even more serious illness, we would be in dire straights, especially if it was transmitted through the air we breathe. We as a human race are very fragile indeed.

On a lighter note it is time for a general election as Fine Gael is past its sell-by date. We have a Taoiseach who has lost touch with the people, doesn’t know where rural Ireland is or how it survives, and craves holding onto power to the extent that he would sell out rural Ireland and agriculture to keep himself in the limelight that he loves.

Willie Hanrahan is a former Chairman of Clare IFA. The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of Clare PPN.


We’d like to hear from you! Back to normal or time for radical change? We’re asking people for their views (in less than 350 words) on how to move forward together in Clare in the wake of Covid-19. You can win a €50 restaurant/take-away voucher. Details of how to submit here: