Minutes of Clare PPN Secretariat meeting 

Monday, 2nd March, 2020

Present: Mary O’Donoghue, Fionnuala Collins, Damon Matthew Wise Âû, Padraic Hayes, Sarah Clancy, Sarah Ferrigan, William Hederman

  1. Update on meeting with Pat Dowling, chief executive of Clare Co Council, 30th Jan. Mary O’Donoghue and Sarah Clancy attended for PPN. Pat Dowling and Leonard Cleary for Clare CoCo.

Clare PPN raised the issue of the lack of support from the council for the PPN and members disillusionment with the consultation processes in particular for Climate Adaptation Strategy and Clare County Council’s Corporate Plan.

Dowling took issue with the PPN Coordinator’s role as a witness in a court case against the council. He also noted with displeasure that the PPN Coordinator had been seen in the Public Gallery with a named person who Clare Co Co has been in litigation with and that this was not acceptable.  L.Cleary noted that this has damaged the PPNs reputation within Clare Co Co.

Mary O’Donoghue clarified that the PPN Coordinator was acting for the PPN in the High Court and that in certain circumstances this is appropriate. PPN Coordinator noted that she has no control over who attends County Council meetings in the public gallery nor whether they approach her or not.

The meeting cleared the air to some degree. Dowling promised / agreed to certain things – these need to be followed up on. These include a meeting with the senior management team; and that they would in future take PPN submissions on board.

Agreed that next step should be: try to work well with new contact SEO, Bernie Hough, and to meet with senior management team. Also to request that Clare CoCo and Clare PPN would make an agreement on how consultations involving PPN should be carried out, which should be in line with DPER guidelines.

  1. Update on ongoing elections for reps and secretariat members

Four nominations for current Reps positions:

  • Hilary Tonge for LCDC on behalf of Community & Voluntary college
  • Mary Leahy for Social Development SPC, on behalf of Respond Housing (replacing Trudy Leyden)
  • Helen Liddy for Rural Dev Forum, on behalf of Social Inclusion college
  • A fourth nomination has been received – seeking clarification for which position.

No nominations for Environment College seats on Rural Development Forum. We will repeat the call-out for this.

Five positions are vacant on Clare PPN Secretariat- these will be re-advertised following Wellbeing Statement events.

New reps and pre-meetings working well. From now on, we will arrange in advance who will raise what issue at meetings.

  1. Update on recruitment of replacement support worker

William Hederman began work today, Monday 2nd March. Part Time 2 days per week. This means that Clare PPN now has the equivalent of 2 FTE staff.

  1. Preparations for Well-Being Vision Statement Workshops

Public Well-Being Statements need to be complete by end March. Need to be advertised and lined up by end of this week (Fri 6th March).

Possibility that public gatherings will be banned off due to coronavirus. If so we will look at doing them via live feed/ survey.

  1. New director needed for CLG

Fionnuala Collins had previously agreed to be a Director and will now do so.

Mary O’Donoghue nominated Padraic Hayes as a Director and Treasurer; seconded by Damon.

  1. Audit needed this year

Should Clare PPN register as a charity? Sarah Clancy/Mary O’ -Clare PPN’s purpose is not charitable as such and now that the overall funding has gone above €100k per year the original reasoning that being a registered charity would exempt us from audit requirements does not now hold. Secretariat agreed to discontinue application for charitable status.

Audit: Sarah Ferrigan got a quote of €2,400 from Majella O’Donnell. Fionnuala suggests Noonan Ó Cinnéide – Sarah Ferrigan will follow up.

  1. Fine by Lobbying.ie

Sarah Clancy missed a deadline for filing quarterly lobbying returns. She was very busy and filed one day late. (It was a nil return.) She paid the €200 fine out of her own pocket, but it was agreed she should be reimbursed.

  1. New liaison person in council: Bernie Hough, as of March 2nd

We have yet to meet her. She is a senior executive officer with the Rural Development Directorate. Secretariat asked coordinator to invite her to meet us in the PPN offices at her convenience.

  1. Migrant Forum Update

Two meetings of the Migrant Forum have taken place. Plan with CLDC’s SICAP team to hire facilitator, Alphonse Basogomba, for four days of forum. CLDC will pay his fee. Clare PPN will provide time, support and venue. Participants will be given training in: 1) local government; 2) media & representing yourself at the conclusion of four session.

  1. Making PPN effective for reps and members

Agreed to meet new Liaison Person for Clare PPN, agreed to request an agreement between Clare Co Co and PPN on how relevant consultations are conducted – with DPER guidelines as the basis. Noted that Carlow PPN has community consultation toolkit which is useful as a basis for discussion.

  1. Financial report

Sarah Ferrigan noted that she is due a quarterly financial report at end of March and will circulate to secretariat once complete. 

  1. Work report 

PPN Hustings event very well attended 125 tickets booked in total and live streaming generated more interest and support for PPN.

Planning a conference on Social Inclusion on April 17th at Temple Gate Hotel. A planning meeting for this will take place on Tuesday 10th March, at 10:30am at Clare PPN offices.


  • The death has taken place of Patrick Murphy — he was the Ennis rep on the Community & Voluntary Forum.
  • The following have been agreed with Clare Co Council: 1) A work plan for the year; 2) a memo of understanding.
  • Suggestion to get a microphone/speaker to use on table for future Zoom meetings.
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