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.
I visited Inishbofin on my only trip to Ireland. Though I can’t be sure, I think my ultimate origins may lie on that island (or one of the other Arans). That is very sad news indeed.
It’s an incredibly short sighted decision made by people who have no idea of island life. Hopefully, they will see sense and reinstate the funding. Many thanks for your comment.
That is awful… Any hope for change?
Amy, so sorry for not responding sooner. The funding was to be cut off at the end of this year but they have postponed until March 2015. Hopefully, they will reverse the decision by then.
I wish you the best, and I hope the people prevail 🙂
That’s awful, Patsy! I sure hope there is a way to reverse this. It’s the same all over the world. Everything that is beautiful or beneficial to the people will be discontinued or destroyed. 😦
True my thoughts exactly
How is it that so many policy-makers everywhere do so little research and include the parties involved so seldom, in the process of their policy-making??? Such a universal problem, from what I have seen. Hoping that we can effect some change in that attitude…
I’m going to share your post, Patsy. This is so sad. I used to live in West Cork and love and miss the islands more than anything else about the place. I hope things went well on Wednesday, and will look out for news.
Thank you, Cathy. How lovely to have found you. I’ll update the blog post once I know more.
This sounds like absolutely crazy policy, Patsy. I truly hope the decision will be reversed.
Fingers crossed for the islands. I’ll post an up-date as soon as a decision has been made.
Thanks Patsy. Is there anything we can do to influence the decision?
Hello fellow night owl! I suppose social media is a good start. If the story is shared from the Sherkin Island website, it may attract some more attention. Thanks Jean.
Great will do. Twitter in the morning! Sleep tight.
Patsy I hope the representatives get the government to listen too them and reconsider their decision, one of the problems many tourist areas have is that quite often governments do not see their value and do not see tourism as an industry or even an asset, good luck, Frances
Thanks Frances, it’s so short-sighted when tourism is so important to the Irish economy.
This is bad. Is it getting much media attention? Would a threat work against the government , say the islands bring in a two tiered pricing system to help financially support the islands where the government has stranded them. For instance a local person pays 1 euro for a coffee but a tourist will have to pay 2 euros. Threaten to double everything across the board for those who do not have “local” cards. There are bound to be a lot of government types that holiday there, it will make a point. Basically it is a case of if you are being stripped of tax dollars you bring in your own taxation.
Thanks Deb, the story has appeared in some of the nationals but other news regarding the introduction of water charges has taken the limelight over the last few days. It will be interesting to see what happens and we can only hope that the Government sees sense.
It seems incredible that funding should be just pulled like this Patsy … there is such a lot at stake I do hope the reps will be able make the case and some action taken to reverse the decision . I wonder where they intend to channel these funds . More pen pushers who have no idea .
On a nicer note .. loved the link to Sherkin Island news and photos and so on . You must get out with that camera of yours and bring us some more shots round and about !! I know I know .. work … family 🙂
Thanks Poppy. It’s ridiculous as it’s a very small amount of money, relatively speaking, yet it makes a huge difference to the people who live all-year ’round on these islands, not to mention ‘blow-ins’ like us! Yes, I must widen my scope and take my camera for a walk. 🙂
The importance of land conservation and preservation is vital to the health of the planet. I hope that advocacy changes the course of the action.
Thanks Sally. These communities are already finding it difficult as they have few resources. This is an incredibly short-sighted decision so we can only hope that the Government sees sense and reverses this decision.