Ireland

All Things Ireland: Looking into December

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Image via Chambers Ireland

Welcome to All Things Ireland

All Things Ireland is the LGIU’s way of bringing you all the latest local government reports and updates from the week so far.

Last week, LGIU Ireland was pleased to celebrate one of the biggest nights in the local government diary- Chambers Ireland 2022 Excellence in Local Government Awards. Hosted by Chambers Ireland, in conjunction with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the awards showcase best practice in local government and recognise the skills, hard work, innovation and enthusiasm within local government that can often go unrecognised.

Click here to read the LGIU Ireland summary of all the category’s winners, the projects summary and links to winning Councils.

As we celebrate last Thursday evenings results, LGIU Ireland wishes to celebrate and reflect upon previous winners. Check out these case studies from last years winners.

The week in Irish Local Government

2024 local elections

€192,200 of funding was released to 18 local authorities and one regional women’s caucus. This funding will support activities to increase the number of female and diverse candidates and councillors running in the Local Elections in 2024. Read the full list of 18 local authorities here.

To get a wider understand, make sure to check out this LGIU Briefing from Dr. Aodh Quinlivan on the considerable challenges associated with improving the participation rates of women in Ireland’s political arena.

Planning

Headed by the Office of Public Works, and in partnership with local government, the Strategic Framework Plan has identified seven zones in the Castle’s grounds to reimagine Dublin Castle’s place within the city. Read the full plan here.

The completion of the new Douglas Flood Relief Scheme ensures 221 properties are now protected from potential flooding in the flood catchment area. Delivered by the OPW in partnership with Cork City Council and Cork County Council, read what Cork City Council CEO had to say here.

Building a Shared Island

This week, over 30 people from Derry-Strabane, Belfast, Limerick and Dublin joined Chief Executive Ann Doherty at the launch of the new Shared Island initiative ‘Our Learning Island’ in Cork City Hall on Nov 30th.

The three day programme hosted in Cork involved delegates in a series of sessions to make contacts and develop links with people from similar backgrounds and with shared interests in future projects on an all-island basis. Find out more about the Shared Island initiative here, or read about Ireland’s Learning City’s here.

Housing

A new policy to provide state assistance aims to stimulate the development of new and additional student accommodation for public higher education institutions. Delivering up to 667 beds across University of Limerick, Maynooth University and University of Galway in the short term, check out the full project here.

Education

The green light has been given to Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim Education and Training Board to proceed to the next stage in developing a College of The Future (COTF). The project envisages a state-of-the-art further education campus built in Castlebar which you can read here.

Environment

Launched this week, Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors aims for an ambitious and transformational National Outdoor Recreation Strategy. With €14 million for the development of 59 outdoor recreation amenities to support outdoor pursuits, check out the full policy launch here.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development opened and visited a range of projects across County Mayo: Connacht GAA Air Dome funded, Digispace Connected Hub and Castlebar Social Services Office, with the details available here.

A €3 million fund to support imaginative creative projects that build awareness around climate change and empower citizens will be open to local authorities. Read here about the available funding streams.

Transport

The Department of Transport has launched a review of the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025, which funds Ireland’s smallest airports and provides connectivity in Cork, Donegal, Mayo and Galway and Shannon.

Under the National Development Plan, a planning application will secure major redevelopment at the Crawford Art Gallery.

The Minister for Transport secured agreement for Iarnród Éireann (IÉ) to order 90 new battery-electric train for delivery in 2026. The adaptable nature of the carriages means there is also potential to use them in Cork and Wicklow. Read more here.

Finance

Southern Regional Assembly, Northern and Western Regional Assembly and the Eastern and Midlands Regional Assembly, launched Ireland’s two ERDF Programmes for the period 2021 – 2027. The two ERDF Programmes set out Ireland’s investment strategy for €853 million, of which €396 million is financed by the EU. You can find out more details here.

Nearly €169 million from the EU’s Just Transition Fund will help East Galway, Kildare, Laois, Longford, north Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon and Westmeath address the address employment, economic, social and environmental impacts that come with the move away from peat production and electricity generation from peat. Read the fully policy here.

Northern Ireland

As curiosity grows over who is actually running NI in the absence of Stormont, this week we saw the NI Protocol debate stretch to Council’s Christmas Trees, local government financial pressures in Derry & Strabane and Belfast making headlines and NI’s public policy think tank Pivotal calling for further fiscal devolution to address significant funding shortfalls.
In other developments, Northern Ireland’s 11 councils will have their climate change actions assessed by Climate Emergency UK, make this the first comprehensive list of the actions councils can take to tackle the climate crisis. You can find out more here.

Coming up…

Next week, stay tuned to LGIU Ireland as we take a look at what a month in the life of Cork County Council looks like. In the meantime, find out all the latest in Irish local government here.

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