*David Brown, Derek Clune, Donna Marie ONeill, Sam Stephen, Nick Condon. Front: Siobhan Boyd, Joanne Begley, Sue Corcoran and Geraldine Lambert. Photograph: Joe Buckley

BUILDING Shannon’s reputation as a thriving and progressive town with a vibrant and interconnected community is the vision of a new community development and advocacy body.

In the region of 85 people attended the launch of the Shannon Community Partnership on Tuesday night in Treacy’s Oakwood Hotel.

Labelling itself as a community development and advocacy body campaigning for the sustainable, inclusive and holistic development of Shannon Town which promotes collaboration and innovation.

An inaugural meeting of the Shannon Community Network will be held in early 2024 and will be facilitated by the new entity. This network is to serve as a forum for collaboration between groups and organisations in the town.

Members of the Shannon Community Partnership’s interim board include Nick Condon (Chairperson), Sue Corcoran (Vice Chairperson), Joanne Begley (Secretary/Funding Officer), Derek Clune (Vice Secretary/Community Liaison), Siobhán Boyd (Vice Treasurer), David Brown (Treasurer/Governance and Compliance Officer), Sam Stephen (IT Support), Geraldine Lambert (Support Officer) and Donna Marie O’Neill (Website/Social Media).

Shannon Community Partnership replaces Love Shannon Community Council. Among those in attendance on Tuesday were founding members of Love Shannon, Gerry Murphy, Niamh O’Callaghan, Dara O’Callaghan and Denise O’Brien plus Cllr PJ Ryan (IND), Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF), acting senior executive officer in the Shannon Municipal District, Anne Griffin, Derek Barrett who was one of the driving forces in The Venue project, local election candidate David Griffin (FF), former Senator Tony Mulcahy (FG), 2014 local election candidate Louise Roche McNamara (FF), Ger Kelly of Shannon Town Utd, Tommy McDaid of Shannon Hibs and former Chairman of the CSSL, Brendan Wall.

Ability to pull finance together for future projects to benefit the town is an aim of the group, funding officer Joanne Begley explained, “I believe Shannon has so much potential, I want Shannon to be connected and what is needed off the Council”.

Geraldine Lambert who was formerly a member of Shannon Town Council spoke of her pride at getting to represent the town at events abroad. “I am absolutely passionate about Shannon,” she said.

Now living in Shannon for forty eight years, Derek Clune said “Shannon is now my home. I am married to Pauline and we have children, grand-children and great grand-children living in the town. I felt it was vital to have a strong community group in Shannon. We hope to be a major driver and an advocacy group for the future development of the town. Shannon needs huge inward investment to provide facilities, services and infrastructure”.

Originally from Sixmilebridge, Sam Stephen explained that he got involved in the group to amplify the voices of the younger community. He is one the active members involved in the Park Run held in Illaunmanagh every Saturday morning, a concept brought to the town by Love Shannon.

Born in South Africa, David Brown has lived in Shannon for fifty two years. “I would like to give something back from what I’ve gained,” he commented of his what the town has offered.

Chairman Nick Condon who formerly worked with Shannon Development highlighted the “good upbringing” enjoyed by their children who grew up in the town. “I felt at this stage of my life I could give something back. We can do something tonight to have a legacy for future generations. We’re just an interim body and we’re not here as a vanity project,” he remarked. He called for “passionate support” for the group from Clare County Council.

“There is a great community spirit here and we’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg because this is a great place to live and work,” felt Siobhán Boyd. “I want to promote Shannon, it is a great place, I want to see it thrive. We need to come together to keep it together,” added Donna Marie O’Neill.

Love Shannon always needed a bigger committee which appears to have arrived in the guise of the Shannon Community Partnership, stated Gerry Murphy. He said the founders of Love Shannon gave their “full support” to the new entity and predicted “some big announcements for Shannon in the next few weeks”.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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