Report from the first meeting of FLAG West by Oonagh O’Dwyer
Oonagh O’Dwyer was elected to represent Clare PPN member groups on the newly formed Fisheries Local Action Group West and she recently attended their first official meeting which took place in the Maldron Hotel Galway on Feb 8th.
Here are her notes from that meeting:
Short report on first official Flag West Meeting. 8th Feb. Maldron Hotel, Galway.
The Flag programme was officially launched in Dublin on the 3rd Feb however this meeting I attended was the first official Flag West one. At the meeting Mr Paddy Crowe was appointed as the Chairman.
About Flag West:
Each FLAG is responsible for delivering a strategy for their area on a devolved basis. The groups will formulate a local development strategy that identifies suitable projects that require financial or expert assistance. With the development of these strategies, there will be a call for projects from individuals and local communities.
To qualify for funding, projects must satisfy specific criteria. For example, projects must be based in coastal areas and not located more than 10kms from the sea. In addition, projects must have a clearly identifiable marine connection or provide a specific benefit to a fishing region. In many cases, beneficiaries of support will be required to be either workers in the fisheries sector or persons with a job linked to the sector.
Flag West is one of 7 Flag areas around the country and the Board consists of representatives with an interest in the regeneration and sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture dependent communities and our flag covers the coastal areas of Clare and Galway including 10 Kilometres inland.
Flag west has 1.8 million in funding with 50% coming from EMFF . Funding is spread across 5 themes ,
1) Economic dev. Of coastal areas.
2) Promoting social well-being and coastal cultural Heritage.
3) Enabling more participative involvement in governance of fisheries.
4)Protecting and Promoting the Environment.
5) Harnessing and developing the skills and Knowledge of local coastal communities.
Applications are open now and close on the 15th March 2017. There will be a call again for grant applications later in the year. There is funding available for a diverse range of projects , subject to suitability and meeting certain criteria.
As a local Board member I am available for queries and to do my best as an ambassador for the Flag West programme. More details and on line application form at this link:
My contact is firstname.lastname@example.org