Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed that 68 projects throughout the county were allocated more than €140,000 from the Community Enhancement Programme operated by the Department of Rural and Community Development in 2019.

Deputy Carey, who is Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Rural and Community Development said that the grants helped support a range of activities in all areas of communities, such as childcare groups, playgrounds, recreational groups, sports grounds, landscaping and supporting the elderly.

“€4.5 million was allocated to more than 2,000 projects all over the country and while much of this was in small scale capital grants, a relatively small amount of money can go a long way and this investment will greatly benefit local community projects throughout the country.

“Typical enhancements under the Programme include the renovation of community centres and community amenities, improvements to town parks and common areas and spaces and the purchase of equipment which is used to benefit the community. The programme has also supported energy efficient upgrades, developing community gardens, provision of defibrillators, CCTV, and sports and IT equipment,” Deputy Carey explained.

Among the biggest grants awarded in Clare were €6,750 for the renovation of St Kieran’s Community Centre in Labasheeda; €6,295 for the fit-out of the community cafe training kitchen at the Killaloe/Ballina Community and Family Resource Centre; €6,150 for a soft-play area at the Hope Cafe, Shannon Christian Church and €6,000 for the provision of women’s changing rooms and disabled access toilets at Tuamgraney Handball Club.

The application process for the Community Enhancement Programme is administered by Local Community Development Committees in each area. There was an open application process when the 2019 CEP was launched in March and it is intended to run the programme on the same basis again in 2020.