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County Mayor's Diary

Thursday, 7th March, 2019 2:45pm

By the Mayor of Cork Cllr Patrick Gerard Murphy

There’s something about getting on a ferry and pulling away from the mainland that soothes the soul. 

All of a sudden, the busy life onshore – with all the rushing around and stress – fades away behind you like the coastline and you are in a new frame of mind. 
At least, that’s the way it is for me whenever I visit the beautiful islands off the coast of West Cork.
That’s why I’m really pleased about this week’s news that €50,000 has been made available for community-based services and facilities on our islands. Cork County Council’s West Cork Islands Community Resource Scheme 2019 is now open to applications. 
I know that the vibrant communities on Bere, Whiddy, Dursey, Sherkin, Long and Heir Islands, and of course on Oileán Chléire, have lots of good ideas for small projects which would make a big difference to islanders and also to those of us who are lucky enough to visit them from time to time.
Ever since I became a public representative, I have seen various development plans and strategies aspiring to provide support for the economic, cultural and social development of the islands. I know that major infrastructural projects have been undertaken as a result, and that is only right. 
But this new scheme, which was approved by West Cork Councillors at our meeting last Monday, is a great opportunity for the islands to put small but vital facilities in place to enhance their communities.
There was more good news for Cork communities this week – this time in the north of the county. 
Half a million euro is to be given to 64 community projects from the North Cork area under the Council’s Community Development Initiative. 
I know what a difference this money will make. It will build or upgrade walkways, it will fix up community halls, it will buy important equipment like tables, chairs, lawnmowers; these are the nuts and bolts that make our communities tick. 
These are the tools that foster community spirit and allow people to work together. That’s how dreams come true.
Speaking of dreams coming true, the other news that I’m particularly happy about this week involves a project very close to my heart. The council has announced that it is seeking input from members of the community on the planned road improvement works on the approach road to Castletownbere, the R572. 
The full details can be inspected, or purchased for €5 per set, at the Area Engineer’s Office, Foildarrig, Castletownbere between from 11 March-8 April.
I hope lots of people go and have a look at what is being proposed, and then make submissions and observations which will benefit road users and pedestrians alike. Funding is in place for phase one which is due to start during the summer. 
If local people who know the road well engage with the process, that will make a real difference to everyone living in and travelling through Castletownbere.

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