Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has urged Clare County Council to work with local communities on the submission of proposals for this year’s CLÁR programme.

CLÁR provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in rural areas that have suffered significant levels of population decline. 

The measures being funded by the programme include support for schools/community safety measures and play areas including multi-use games areas. Community Wellbeing Supports are included in this year’s programme and these will cover mobility and cancer care transport as well as the provision of sensory gardens.

Deputy Carey said he was strongly urging Clare County Council and other groups to submit proposals to the Department of Rural & Community Development before the deadline of April 25.  

“It never fails to impress me how much can be achieved with relatively modest investments through this programme. It is a great example of what can be achieved when everyone works together for the good of the community,” Deputy Carey said. 

“This year’s round of funding will see the creation of a “Community Wellbeing Support” measure which will encompass the assistance given in previous years for voluntary first-response organisations; and for mobility and cancer care supports.

“It will also provide funding for the development of specialist sensory gardens and complementary play equipment. These gardens are designed to stimulate the senses and are of particular benefit to people with certain disabilities. 

“Funding is being made available again this year for initiatives to improve safety near schools including traffic calming measures; and for playgrounds, play areas, including multi-use games areas, and other community facilities. 

“By supporting these investments CLÁR is helping to improve the quality of life in rural communities for families with young children.

“Rural communities themselves will be key partners in the provision of these facilities, but I am delighted that the CLÁR programme will enable these groups to put new and enhanced facilities in place in their communities,” Deputy Carey said.

Full details of the CLÁR programme will be issued to the local authorities and other relevant organisations in the coming days.