Death of the islands?
The Irish Government has made a decision to terminate essential funding to five Community Development Offices, which will have a devastating effect on nine non-Gaeltacht (non-Irish speaking) islands. The withdrawal of this funding will affect the communities of Sherkin Island, Heir Island, Long Island, Dursey Island, Clare Island, Inishbofin, Inishturk, Bere Island and Whiddy Island. The funding provides essential resources for educational programmes, waste management, island festivals, social events, networking and a whole range of initiatives that contribute to island life. Representatives from the islands are planning to travel to Dublin next Wednesday 19th November to lobby members of the Oireachtas to put pressure on Alan Kelly, Minister of the Environment, Community and Local Government and to raise public awareness of these plans. It is unthinkable that this should happen, particularly when these beautiful islands contribute so much to Irish tourism. Read the full story here. We need every support possible to ensure that this decision is reversed.
February 2015 update:
A belated update to say that funding for non-Gaeltacht islands has been secured until the end of 2015, while a longer term plan is worked out.