All Things Ireland – Case studies lessons from Clare and Mayo County Councils

At LGIU, our focus in Ireland this week has been on delivering tangible case study lessons – such as building up rural communities in Clare and tackling vacancy and dereliction in Mayo. In addition, this week’s All Things Ireland looks at new changes to the policy of project management, as well as new funding calls for housing, vacancy and heritage.

Check out the latest updates from LGIU Ireland that you may have missed:

How Clare County Council is building up its rural communities: a case study

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

Given the significance of the original strategy (and now the renewed strategy), this case study from LGIU’s Research Team showcases the exciting innovation coming from Ireland’s 2022 Local Authority of the Year and offers several lessons and insights into the area of rural development.

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Lessons from Mayo County Council on tackling vacancy and dereliction

Open to everyone 🟢 

Across Europe, local government is at the forefront of addressing the scourge of vacancy and dereliction in our town centres and communities. To find out just how Mayo County Council is tackling the issue head-on, LGIU’s Thomas Lynch spoke to Thomas Gilligan, Director of Services at Mayo County Council. Like what you’ve read? Sign up to And Finally, LGIU’s open-access newsletter to never miss out. 

In conversation with Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council

Open to everyone 🟢 

As part of LGIU’s series on local government leadership, Dr Pat Daly, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council discusses how Limerick is navigating the challenges and opportunities of local government in 2023.

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Housing, planning and funding

The state of the private rental market: Accommodation availability

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

Accommodation availability and affordability are the main overarching issues in the private rental market, the first of which is considered in this briefing, which reviews how the market has evolved, factors underlying factors, and questions regarding future prospects. The related issue of rents and affordability will be considered shortly in a further briefing.

Improving public project delivery? This week the Irish Government announced changes to speed up the delivery of public project by removing the administrative burden on major capital projects, such as replacing the Public Spending Code with a set of Infrastructure Guidelines.

€13 million for vacancy and dereliction – Funded under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, local authorities are be provided with €500,000 in funding to purchase up to three properties each for re-development

95 heritage projects – Under the 2023 Historic Structures Fund (HSF), 95 projects are set to receive a share of €4.5m to support owners and custodians of historic and protected structures to safeguard and maintain their properties.

Community spots funding – €8 million in funding through the 2023 CLÁR Programme entails “grants of up to €50,000 will be provided to support the development of community and sports facilities, youth clubs, playgrounds, sensory gardens, walking tracks and much more.”

Full budget spend on traveller accommodation – For the third year in a row, the complete budget allocation of €27 million was spent by local authorities in 2022 for Traveller-specific accommodation such as halting sites and group housing schemes and other supports.

Dog fines double – Rising to €5,000, Agriculture Minister spoke on RTE One of a“two-pronged approach” involving strengthening laws and ensuring those laws are enforced for the control of dogs.

Key updates in Irish local authorities

Oireachtas report: Feb to March 2023

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

This is the latest briefing on parliamentary affairs impacting local government. It includes references to key legislation and issues in the Oireachtas between mid-February and mid-March. It should be of interest to everyone keeping an eye on Irish Parliamentary matters and how they can impact local government. A special briefing on the new planning legislation will be published shortly.

Mayo’s red carpet for President Biden – As work gets underway for President Biden’s visit, RTE reports on Cathaoirleach of the Ballina Municipal District calls for the Councils to implement a works programme ahead of Biden’s possible visit to Mayo in April.

EU50 Grants for local authorities – 17 local authorities and library services have been granted funding totalling €119,700 celebrate 50 years of Ireland’s EU membership this May.

An international week for Dublin – From a Dublin, Ireland to Dublin, Ohio Memorandum of Understanding, to a new friendship agreement with Seoul, this week we also saw the short list for the Dublin Literary Award 2023. Funded by Dublin City Council, the 2023 Dublin Literary Award saw 6 novels short-listed this year with a “international flavour” to this years nominations.

Stakeholder group for Strategic Policy Committees – From the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage this week, a new Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) will oversee an independent review of local authority Strategic Policy Committees (SPCs) that is to be carried out by the Institute of Public Administration.

Bringing in the full array of local government acronyms, the SWG comprises of nominees from the OPR, LGMA, CCMA, AILG and LAMA, and you can find the nominees here.

Advance your knowledge of Irish local government

All Things Ireland is only one of the many ways LGIU keeps the local government community in Ireland up-to-date on all the key policy developments. To never miss a beat, you need access to our exclusive resources and our full Daily News service – one email, every morning with everything you need:

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Climate and environment

Outcomes from COP27 – the successes, failures and lessons for Ireland

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

What are the real steps forward from this meeting of 195 countries? This briefing reflects on the Conference and will be of interest to senior policy makers across government and local government in Ireland, all of whom are presently advancing actions under the national Climate Action Plan, 2021.

Peatland project funding – Up to €500,000 is now open for applications, to support community-led projects as part of the Peatlands Community Engagement Scheme 2023.

Pilot sea grass in Strangford – Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s geopark team is trialling a new scheme to stimulate the growth of seagrass on the lough’s bed as part of plans to protect the lough’s biodiversity.

Transport and infrastructure

Road maintenance (regional and local roads) in Irish local authorities

Open to LGIU members only 🔒 

Covering the Local Government Audit Service (LGAS) Value for Money (VFM) Reports, this briefing sets out the regional and local road network as of the 31st of December 2019 and will conclude by setting out future opportunities for local authorities.

Reduced car parking spaces – The reports on Cabinet proposals brought forward this week to reform Sustainable Residential Development Guidelines to increase population densities in urban centres, while reducing car parking spaces to meet climate targets.

Greenways in Kerry – 2 new greenways promise nearly 30km of greenways by 2024-25 on old railway lines as part of the “Kingdom Kilometres” plan.

International local government learnings

Vacancy in Scotland

In this article, Andy Moseley, Policy and Projects Manager at the Scottish Empty Homes Partnerships shines a spotlight on the true scale of vacancy in Scotland and how local government can be forefront in tackling this critical issue head-on.

How vacant offices could offer a solution to Brussels’ housing crisis

A new report by Perspective.Brussels examines whether the city’s housing crisis could be swiftly addressed by converting vacant office space into new homes.

The city currently has a vacant office floor space of over a million square metres. However, not all of it is usable and much of it is located in the city’s more remote industrial areas.

Cities tightening down on troublesome tourists?

Who would you nominate for the Mayor of Venice’s “certificate of stupidity“? A comment made by the Mayor follower a video of tourists jumping from height into a canal. In the same week, the Amsterdam City Council launched an advertising discouragement campaign targeting men aged 18-35 in the UK  to “stay away” as part of the City’s new plans to clean up drug and sex tourism.

Gaelic football in Cambodia?

We have all seen Tipperary and Mayo jerseys trickle down from Trócaire and St Vincent De Paul’s to all corners of the globe, but this week, BBC Sport this week delivered a great piece on how 2 Irish man started a GAA club in Bangkok and now 90% of the Cairde Khmer ranks are Cambodian (BBC Sports).

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