Ballinasloe has been included among 14 regions across Ireland to share in a €2 million programme targeting area-based deprivation.
The ‘Empowering Communities Programme’ aims to give local communities the chance to craft their own response to area-based poverty, social exclusion, and the resulting consequences.
The announcement was made at the weekend by Minister of State Joe O’Brien at the Rowlagh Community Centre in Clondalkin, with Galway Rural Development welcoming the award of funding to be targeted specifically at Ballinasloe, including supporting a new Community Engagement Worker.
Speaking after the launch, CEO of Galway Rural Development Steve Dolan said that they are very pleased that Ballinasloe has been included in the programme.
“We had been unfortunate in not securing funding last year from other sources for a very similar role for the town, so this is both a timely and necessary intervention,” he said.
Dolan said that they will aim to ‘enhance the citizens’ voices in Ballinasloe’ and allow others to have their voice heard for the first time.
“We hope to identify areas of overlap, and certainly gaps in services that we can then try to close collectively. This will be a people-focused, capacity building, and collaborative effort.”
He said that having the voice of the community, empowered and engaged, will benefit all in Ballinasloe and help ensure this initiative has a sustainable future.
“There is a significant body of work to be done in the town, we’ve highlighted that repeatedly, but this is a most welcome first step. Indeed, we hope more supports will follow.”