I am delighted that communities across Laois and Offaly, from Rathdowney to Clara and Birr to Portarlington, are receiving good news today as over €1.5 million is allocated to 74 community led projects in the 2 counties.
The Community Recognition Fund aims to support the development of community infrastructure and facilities in recognition of the contribution being made by communities across Laois and Offaly in welcoming and hosting significant numbers of new arrivals.
For me the biggest take away from today’s announcement is not the funding boost, which of course is very welcome, but the scale of community and voluntary commitment across the two counties which this fund highlights.
We are experiencing significant changes in our communities and we are adapting and growing stronger with the support of collective voluntary effort. Every one of these project proposals, including upgrades to toilets and kitchen facilities at Portarlington Community Centre to upgrades to the stage of Dunkerrin Community Centre is possible because of voluntary effort by individuals. They are the heroes of today’s announcement, supported by Laois and Offaly County Councils, and I applaud and thank them.
There are some really practical projects too like manikins for lifesaving training at Laois Leisure, Portarlington and a bus shelter in Clonaslee thanks to the Tidy Towns there. There are innovative ones too like the dipping pond at Abbeyleix Bog Project and signs along the Silver River in Ukrainian. I look forward to seeing the results which will benefit us all and, in many cases, support our biodiversity.
A full list of projects in Laois and Offaly are available here;