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Clare’s new rural officers to ’empower entire community’

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by Paraic McMahon

Four rural and community development officers will be engaging with towns and villages all over Clare to empower the entire county.

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the Rural Development SPC, Director of Rural Development, Leonard Cleary introduced the quartet that have been employed by Clare County Council since the summer. Although they will not have any funding, the four will be signposting to various groups and organisations where funding can be obtained for different projects.

Each Municipal District in the county has been assigned a rural/community development officer, they are, Margaret Cotter (West Clare), Jennifer O’Brien (Shannon), David Bennett (Killaloe) and Niamh Moynihan (Ennis).

Michael Neylon of the Rural Development Directorate within the local authority maintained “there is an onerous challenge facing the people in this role”. He feels Clare is well ahead of any other local authority by employing the four officials. “I envisage that the people in these jobs will be out of jobs in four years if they do their job”.

Senior Executive Officer, Monica Meehan outlined, “These people are not project managers, they are to bring communities to drive their areas and make them vibrant places to live and work”.

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